Jan 11, 10:15 AM EST

Man gets 3 years for lying about Islamic State group contact


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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A Minnesota man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for lying to the FBI about his social media exchanges with Islamic State group recruiters.

Twenty-three-year-old Abdul Raheem Ali-Skelton, of Glencoe, pleaded guilty in April to lying about his communications with the group.

Prosecutors argued Tuesday for a five-year sentence. Minnesota Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/2id8vtq ) that Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kovats said Ali-Skelton maintained secret contact with "the worst of the worst of terrorist organizations."

Ali-Skelton apologized and distanced himself from IS ideology, saying he never supported terrorism. His attorney cited mental health issues, saying communicating with the group made Ali-Skelton feel important.

The case was separate from a terrorism conspiracy case that ended in the sentencing of nine young Minnesota men in November.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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