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Self-Radicalized Homegrown Terrorist Sentenced

Those who have met Emerson Begolly in person might describe him as a shy young man. But online, the 24-year-old was the complete opposite—he forcefully incited jihadist violence against Americans and Jews. And when FBI agents attempted to talk to him in 2011, he reached for a loaded handgun in his pocket and then bit the agents who disarmed him. Today, a federal judge sentenced him to eight years and six months in prison.

Jul 16, 2013 03:00 PM

Self-Radicalized Homegrown Terrorist Sentenced

Map of PennsylvaniaThose who have met Emerson Begolly in person might describe him as a shy young man. But online, the 24-year-old was the complete opposite—he forcefully incited jihadist violence against Americans and Jews. And when FBI agents attempted to talk to him in 2011, he reached for a loaded handgun in his pocket and then bit the agents who disarmed him.

Today, a federal judge sentenced Begolly to eight years and six months in prison for soliciting others to engage in acts of terrorism within the United States and for using a firearm in relation to an assault on FBI agents. “This is a guy who definitely had the potential to hurt people,” said Special Agent Blake McGuire, who led part of the investigation from our Pittsburgh office. “He was a disaffected U.S. citizen who was susceptible to the message of violent extremism, and he became self-radicalized on the Internet.

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