Huntsville terror suspect Aziz Sayyed pleads guilty

Sayyed agreed to a 15-year sentence recommendation from prosecutors on a terror-related charge.

Posted: Mar 8, 2018 11:10 AM
Updated: Mar 8, 2018 7:34 PM

Huntsville terror suspect Aziz Sayyed pleaded guilty Thursday morning to a federal charge related to planning attacks on Madison County authorities.

Sayyed, 23, agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 15-year sentence recommendation from prosecutors, followed by lifetime supervised release.

The judge in the case said he would review Sayyed's case and sentence him June 20. 

Sayyed was accused of plotting to make explosives and use them in local police departments in an effort to support the terror group ISIS. He was arrested in June 2017 after meeting with what authorities said he thought was an ISIS operative. The person was actually an undercover FBI agent.

Prosecutors said Sayyed, who worked at an IHOP in Madison prior to his arrest, watched ISIS propaganda videos of bombings and executions. He also expressed support for the terror group and at one point when asked if he would ever participate in beheadings, prosecutors said he responded "Is there any higher honor?"

Sayyed researched how to make explosives and told others he wanted to make explosives to use in an explosive belt or car bomb, according to court documents. He also bought some of the materials to make the explosives, prosecutors said.

In federal court Thursday morning in Birmingham, Sayyed was arraigned on a charge of providing material resources or support to terrorists. He pleaded guilty about half an hour later.

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