Oakland man convicted of supporting ISIS has sentencing continued until next year

ByMelanie Woodrow via KGO logo
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
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The sentencing of an Oakland man who pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization has been continued until Jan. 8.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Amer Alhaggagi is known as the terrorist in jail according to his attorneys.

In July, Alhaggagi pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and identity theft charges.

On day one of his sentencing hearing, his attorneys question a forensic psychiatrist who testified that Alhaggagi wasn't a terrorist but a troll who, in online chat rooms, was vulgar, often trolling women and that his talk about bombs and detonators was filled with sexual innuendo and laughing emoji.

Judge Breyer said, "If this was all a joke why commit to the next step."

Alhaggagi met with an undercover agent but the forensic psychiatrist testified Alhaggagi drew the line at pledging allegiance to a terrorist organization.

RELATED: West Oakland man pleads guilty to supporting ISIS

During cross-examination of the forensic psychiatrist, prosecutors played audio from Alhaggagi's meeting with the undercover agent.

In it, Alhaggagi talked about bombing nightclubs including City Nights in San Francisco saying, "They are also crowded, it doesn't matter which one we hit."

Alhaggagi also named potential targets like AT&T Park, the Japanese Tea Garden and Telegraph Avenue next to UC Berkeley and suggested setting up a fake modeling agency to draw in and kill women.

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The Alhaggagi family put out the following statement:

"Amer is not a terrorist or a violent person, although he said many terrible things on the Internet and to the undercover agent. Amer did not commit a violent act-- he opened a small number of social media accounts for ISIS sympathizers. He knows now that this was wrong and is sorry to have spoken as he did and to have caused so much trouble.

We are encouraged that the probation officer who interviewed Amer agrees that he is not dangerous to others and has recommended a sentence that is appropriate for his crime.

We have great faith in the American justice system and are hopeful that the court will agree Amer is not a threat when his sentence is passed down.

Amer has the support of his family and his community, who are committed to working with him and making sure that he will be well integrated into daily life when he is released from prison.

We are very grateful to all our family and friends in the Oakland community who have stood by Amer and the family in this very difficult time."

Sentencing was continued until January 8th.