NORFOLK, Va. – A Williamsburg man who told an FBI undercover employee that he wanted to commit jihad was sentenced today to five years in prison for passport fraud and making false statements in his application to join the United States military.
According to court documents, Shivam Patel, 28, was working in China in the summer of 2016 when he flew to the Kingdom of Jordan, was arrested, detained, and then returned to the United States. Patel told an undercover employee and a confidential source that he wanted to join a “Muslim army” and commit jihad. After returning to the United States, he applied to join the Army and Air Force. When asked about his prior foreign travel as part of his applications, Patel did not disclose his trips to China or Jordan. After he was asked to show an Army recruiter his passport, which would have revealed his prior travel to the recruiter, he filed an application for a new passport, falsely claiming that he had accidentally thrown his old passport away. Special agents from the FBI recovered that passport, which documented his undisclosed travel, when they arrested him in July 2017.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Mark S. Davis accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. Bosse and Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:17-cr-120.