Cab Driver Who Tried to Help IS Faces Sentence

An Islamic State flag, in northern Aleppo Governorate, Syria. (Reuters/Khalil Ashawi)

A taxi driver caught helping a friend try to join the Islamic State terror group during an FBI sting faces a sentence of anywhere from four to 28 years.

Twenty-six-year-old Mahmoud Elhassan of Woodbridge, Virginia, was arrested last year after he drove Joseph Farrokh to the Richmond airport, where he planned to begin a trip to join the Islamic State in Syria.

Prosecutors say Elhassan, who started a prayer table outside Verizon Center in Washington seeking to proselytize others to Islam, offered himself online as a “sleeper cell” to overseas radicals. The government is seeking a sentence near the 28-year maximum at a hearing Friday in Alexandria, Virginia.

Elhassan’s lawyers are asking for a term of four to six years.

Farrokh was sentenced to 8½ years in prison.