Virginia taxi driver pleads guilty to trying to help friend join ISIS

taxi

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP/WSLS 10) — A Virginia taxi driver has pleaded guilty to trying to help a friend join the Islamic State group.

Mahmoud A.M. Elhassan of Woodbridge was arrested in January after a government sting operation. Elhassan and a friend, Joseph Farrokh, discussed their support of the Islamic State with an individual who turned out to be a government informant.

At a plea hearing Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Elhassan admitted driving Farrokh to the airport, where Farrokh planned to start a trip to Syria. Prosecutors said Monday that they believe Elhassan also planned to travel to join Islamic State. Elhassan’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, has disputed that.

Farrokh has already pleaded guilty. Elhassan pleaded guilty to one terror-related charge at Monday’s hearing, but could still face trial on another.

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