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New sentencing ordered for American who joined Islamic State

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Posted at 10:06 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 10:13:11-04

FALLS CHURCH, Va. -- An appeals court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for an American who joined the Islamic State and was given 20 years in prison after his capture.

When he was sentenced in 2017, Mohamad Khweis was the only American citizen to be convicted in a U.S. jury trial of successfully joining the Islamic State overseas.

Khweis traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria in December 2015 but found life there distasteful and surrendered to Kurdish forces after a few months.

On Tuesday the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, upheld the core of Khweis' conviction in a split decision.

But it ordered one count overturned and a new sentencing hearing.