War on Terrorism

Monday, May 13, 2019

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Foreign Terrorist Organization


A Fort Worth man today pleaded guilty to a federal terrorism charge, announced Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers and U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas.

Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, who was arrested in February, formally pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based foreign terrorist organization also known as LeT. 

According to court documents, Sewell admitted to encouraging an individual, identified in court documents only as coconspirator 1, to join LeT.

Sewell then provided the coconspirator, who he spoke to on social media, with contact information for an individual he believed could facilitate the coconspirator’s travel to Pakistan to join LeT.  Unbeknownst to Sewell and the coconspirator, the facilitator was an undercover FBI agent.

Sewell and the coconspirator discussed what the coconspirator should say to the undercover agent who posed as the facilitator, in order to gain the facilitator’s trust and be permitted to join LeT.  Sewell also contacted the facilitator to vouch for the coconspirator’s authenticity.

Sewell now faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  He will be sentenced on Aug. 12, 2019 in Fort Worth.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and its Joint Terrorism Task Force members, including the Arlington Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Texas Department of Public Safety conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Weimer prosecuted the case with the assistance of Trial Attorney Bridget Behling of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.

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