June 5, 2015 / 5:12 PM / 3 years ago

Texas man sentenced to prison for trying to join Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Austin, Texas man was sentenced on Friday to almost seven years in prison for attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State militant group.

Michael Wolfe, 23, is seen in an undated photo from the Williamson County Jail in Georgetown, Texas. REUTERS/Williamson County Jail/Handout/Files

Michael Wolfe, 24, was sentenced to 82 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

He pleaded guilty last June to attempting to provide material support to Islamic State after he was arrested as part of a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation.

Wolfe had planned to travel to Europe where he was scheduled to meet an FBI undercover agent who he believed would help him travel through Turkey and then into Syria so he could take up arms for the militant group.

But Wolfe was arrested at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as he was about to board the first flight of his journey.

Another Texas-area man arrested the same day, Rahatul Ashikim Kahn, also pleaded guilty last July on similar charges.

Wolfe’s lawyer, Horatio Aldredge, said his client “never planned or intended to harm any American either in the U.S. or overseas.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas said a sentencing date for Kahn has not yet been scheduled.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir, additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz, editing by G Crosse, Bernard Orr

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