A 28-year-old man from the US state of Virginia on February 8 entered a guilty plea in response to charges of lying on a US military application as well as passport fraud. The accused had reportedly confided his desires to undertake acts of terrorism to under-cover law-enforcement agents monitoring his activities.
Shivam Patel, a Muslim convert from Hinduism was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in July of 2017 after it was discovered that he deliberately failed to include records of previous trips to China and Jordan in his application to join the US Army and the Airforce.
Virginia resident Shivam Patel faces up to 15 years in prison for lying about his travel to Jordan to join ISIS.— Little India (@littleindia) February 9, 2018
According to a court affidavit, Mr. Patel became radicalized while teaching English in China in 2016, becoming increasingly outraged by the Chinese government's treatment of the largely Muslim Uyghur population in the far western region of Xinjiang.
He reportedly communicated his feelings to his father and had allegedly searched online for ways of joining Daesh terrorist group (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS, outlawed in Russia), travelling to Jordan from the US after being sent home by his former employer.
Upon arriving in Jordan, Mr. Patel was arrested and deported back to the United States by the Jordanian authorities.
In the US, the usual penalty for lying on a military application is imprisonment for fifteen years.
In his defense, Mr. Patel had claimed he had mistakenly thrown his passport, along with evidence of his travels, away which required him to apply for a new one.
He is expected to learn his fate at a sentencing hearing on June 4 2018.