Court Voids 17-Year Term for Aiding ISIS as ‘Shockingly Low’

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A 17-year sentence for a New York City man who sought to aid the Islamic State group by trying to kill an FBI agent is “shockingly low,” a federal appeals court said as it ordered a judge to re-sentence him, reports the Associated Press. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Friday ordered a new outcome for Fareed Mumuni, saying sentencing guidelines that recommended an 85-year prison term for him reflect the judgment by Congress that “terrorism is different from other crimes.” One of the three judges on the appeals panel said Mumuni could receive the same sentence again if the judge better explained the reasoning behind it.

Mumuni, a 25-year-old U.S.-born citizen, was sentenced in April 2018 after pleading guilty to charges that he planned to aid the extremist organization and tried to kill the agent who was searching his Staten Island home. Mumuni attacked the agent with a knife, but the agent’s body armor protected him. The 2nd Circuit panel, in a decision written by Judge Jose Cabranes, said a trial judge “drastically discounted the seriousness of Mumuni’s offense conduct based on a sterilized and revisionist interpretation of the record.” The appeals court said the sentencing judge appeared to second-guess whether Mumuni actually intended in 2015 to kill FBI agent Kevin Coughlin with an 8-inch knife, even though he said he did. “Mumuni’s violent attack against Agent Coughlin was indisputably a premeditated, willful, and deliberate attempt to murder a federal officer in the name of ISIS. In short, it was a pre‐authorized ISIS terrorist attack on American soil,” the appeals court said.

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