US man jailed for 'plotting to behead' anti-Islam blogger

US man jailed for 'plotting to behead' anti-Islam blogger
2 min read
20 December, 2017
David Wright, 28, was convicted by a US federal jury of conspiring to provide material support to IS, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism.

Pamela Geller is one of America's most prominent anti-Islam activist [Getty]
A Massachusetts man who was inspired by the Islamic State militant group was sentenced to 28 years in prison on Tuesday for terror charges, after plotting to behead a controversial American anti-Islam crusader and blogger.

David Wright, 28, was convicted by a US federal jury in Boston in October of conspiring to provide material support to IS, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism and obstruct justice, and for obstructing justice.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, he swore allegiance to IS and plotted to kill blogger Pamela Geller with his uncle Usaamah Rahim, who was shot and killed after lunging toward police and FBI agents with a knife in Boston in 2015.

A third man, Rhode Island resident Nicholas Rovinski, pleaded guilty last year.

"Wright will be in jail for the rest of my life and that is good," 59-year-old Geller tweeted on Tuesday in response to the sentencing.

US prosecutors say Wright created a "martyrdom" operation cell and in 2015 published a document that urged the "Lions of America" to kill Americans and identified the New Yorker blogger as the first beheading target.

British-born IS militant and propagandist, Junaid Hussain, whom the Pentagon said recruited IS sympathisers to carry out lone wolf attacks in the west, provided Rahim with encrypted details about Geller, prosecutors said.

Hussain was targeted and killed in an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria in August 2015.

Two hours before his uncle attacked Boston police, Wright encouraged and motivated him to pursue martyrdom by attacking the "boys in blue," prosecutors said.

Geller is president of two anti-Muslim groups, the American Freedom Defence Initiative and Stop the Islamisation of America (SIOA).

She denounces what she calls "creeping Sharia" in the United States and in 2015 organised a cartoon contest of the Prophet Mohammed in Texas that came under attack by two men with assault rifles, both of whom were shot and killed by police.

Her SIOA group has financed controversial anti-Muslim, pro-Israeli ad campaigns on public transport in New York, San Francisco and Washington.

The ad reads, 'In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.'

On her blog in 2006, she re-published caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that had sparked deadly protests after their initial publication in Denmark.