AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A 26-year-old Auburn man has been sentenced to time in federal prison after making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a terrorism investigation.
The FBI began monitoring Nayef Amjad Qashou, 26 of Auburn, after receiving tips about his “erratic behavior” that indicated he may have wanted to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS. Qashou was interviewed by agents who suspected he was sharing videos that supported international terrorism, according to officials..
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Qashou admitted to compiling and distributing what officials say he called “educational” videos related to Islam. Qashou told agents he had only compiled 37 videos and had misrepresented what the videos were about and for.
During their investigation, the FBI found that Qashou had in fact distributed 115 videos to others and that the videos contained ISIS propaganda.
Qashou later admitted to lying to the FBI about the number of videos and their content. A statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office says he lied to protect individuals depicted in the video and to slow down the investigation.
It was later revealed during Qashou’s sentencing hearing that he had previously traveled to Jordan and tried to cross into Syria to join ISIS, but Jordanian officials stopped him.
Qashou will serve 57 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. During his supervised release, a judge has ordered that there will be multiple conditions that he will need to meet to continue, including participating in a mental health treatment program.
The United States Probation Office will also be monitoring his computer and electronic device usage, following his release. There is no parole in the federal system.
The FBI investigated this case, with assistance from the Auburn Police Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Wendell and Robert Nichols prosecuted the case.