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Feds: Suspect wanted to commit jihad, lied to military recruiters about his travel

By SCOTT DAUGHERTY | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: July 6, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — Federal investigators allege a man lied to recruiters about his about his foreign travel and prior arrest in the Kingdom of Jordan while trying to join the U.S. Army and Air Force.

Shivam Patel, 27, of Williamsburg, was arrested today on one count of making materially false statements. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to an affidavit unsealed today in U.S. District Court, Patel traveled to China in July 2016 and then flew to Jordan, where he was arrested and detained. He was eventually deported to the United States.

With the permission of Patel's parents, investigators also searched Patel's room and computer. They found Patel had downloaded three copies of an online magazine produced by ISIS, and researched how to beat a polygraph.

Patel allegedly told an undercover agent and a confidential source in early September 2016 that he wanted to join a “Muslim army” and commit jihad, the affidavit said. He also expressed an admiration for Anwar Al-Awlaki, a leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and interest in becoming a martyr.

Patel applied in December 2016 to join the U.S. Army and Air Force through the Officer Candidate Selection process. The affidavit said Patel did not disclose his travel to China or Jordan when asked about his foreign travel. Instead, the release said, Patel claimed that he had not traveled anywhere outside the United States in the past seven years, except for a family trip to India in 2011–2012.

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