COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio man traveled to Syria and trained alongside terrorists, then returned to the U.S. with plans to attack a military base or a prison, according to a federal indictment announced Thursday.
Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud wanted to "kill three or four American soldiers execution style," according to the indictment. Attacking the prison was part of a backup plan if that didn't work, the charges said.
The indictment also says Mohamud's brother, Abdifatah Aden, fought with a terrorist group in Syria until he was killed in battle in June 2014.
Mohamud, 23, of Columbus, is charged with providing material support to terrorists and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the laws most commonly used by the government since the Sept. 11 attacks to prosecute terror suspects.
Mohamud is also charged with making a false statement involving international terrorism. He faces up to 38 years in prison if convicted.
Mohamud was arrested in Columbus in February on state terrorism and money laundering counts. Thursday's charges were expected, and Mohamud will enter a not-guilty plea at his arraignment, said his attorney, Sam Shamansky. He said it was too early to talk about the specific charges.
Mohamud, originally from Somalia, became a U.S. citizen in February 2014, according to the government.
The indictment says Mohamud provided support to Jabhat al-Nusrah, a State Department designated terrorist group. It also says he lied to an Ohio FBI agent by saying he didn't leave Istanbul during an April 2014 overseas trip; prosecutors say he was in Syria from April through June.
Mohamud's brother also fought for al-Nusrah, according to the indictment. Mohamud told a colleague in the U.S. he was happy about his brother's death and said he "was next and would join Aden soon," the indictment said.