Wisconsin man, Virginia man each get prison for trying to join Islamic State

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin man and a Virginia man were sentenced separately to federal prison on Friday for attempting to travel abroad to join Islamic State, the U.S. Justice Department said.


Joshua Van Haften, 36, of Madison received a 10-year sentence from a federal court in Wisconsin after pleading guilty in October to attempting to support a terrorist organization.


Van Haften, who posted an oath of allegiance to Islamic State's leader online, traveled to Turkey in 2014 and tried to cross the border into Syria, according to prosecutors.


He also attempted to aid another American interested in joining the militant group, Leon Davis, who was sentenced to 15 years in 2015 after federal agents arrested him at an Atlanta airport on his way to Turkey.


Meanwhile, Haris Qamar, 26, from Burke, Virginia, was sentenced to 8-1/2 years in prison on Friday by a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Like Van Haften, Qamar pleaded guilty in October to a terrorism charge.

U.S. prosecutors said Qamar helped a confidential witness working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation take photographs of landmarks in Washington, D.C., for what he believed would be a propaganda video for Islamic State to encourage attacks.

Qamar also told the witness he bought a plane ticket to Turkey in 2014 so he could join Islamic State but was stymied when his parents confiscated his passport, prosecutors said.

Federal agents also arrested two acquaintances of Qamar on Wednesday and charged them with lying to investigators about the case.

The Justice Department has prosecuted more than 100 Islamic State-related cases since 2014.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Alistair Bell)