A radical Islamist who purposefully stabbed two brothers at the Minnesota-based Mall of America in 2017 will likely spend a decade in prison, if not longer, under a sentence a judge handed down last week.
Mahad Abdiaziz Adbiraham, a Muslim man, received a 15-year prison sentence Friday in exchange for a guilty plea regarding the actions he took in “an act of jihad” on Nov. 12, 2017, according to St. Paul station KSTP.
With good behavior, he could conceivably be paroled in eight to 10 years, although his his extremist beliefs make it more likely he’ll serve the full sentence.
KSTP notes that after Adbiraham submitted his guilty plea last month, his attorney read a statement from him in which he admitted that the Mall of America attack had been motivated entirely by support for the Islamic State terrorist group — a response to a “call for jihad by the Chief of Believer, Abu-bakr Al-baghdadi, may Allah protect him, and by the Mujahiden of the Islamic State.”
“I understand that the two men I stabbed know and have explained the reason for my attack, and I am here reaffirming that it was indeed an act of Jihad in the way of Allah,” the statement continued.
A report by the Star Tribune published after Adbiraham pleaded guilty further pointed out that the stabbing occurred inside a Macy’s at the the Mall of America, where Adbiraham attacked two brothers — 19-year-old Alexander Sanchez and 25-year-old John Sanchez — for reasons that at the time were still officially unknown, even if they were probably suspected by anyone who read the attacker’s name.
“No motive for the stabbings was offered in the charging document, but it suggested Abdiraham has had psychological difficulties. Last year, he was arrested on suspicion of stabbing two staff members with a pen at an inpatient psychiatric unit,” the Star Tribune reported.
That’s an odd report, given what Abdiraham said at his plea hearing.
Nevertheless, one of the brothers “suffered injuries to his head that will leave scars and cuts to his arms that went ‘to the bone,'” according to the Star Tribune, while the other brother “needed a blood transfusion.”
They’re very lucky to be alive. In fact, both brothers were still “too injured and too horrified” to even attend Adbiraham’s sentencing hearing Friday, as noted by KSTP.
“I wake up every day and look at my face and relive the whole ordeal, over and over and over again,” one of the brothers reportedly said in an impact statement. “It will never end for me or my family members.”
The victims’ aunt chimed in as well, saying, “I don’t care about Allah and I don’t care about anybody’s beliefs, we all bleed the same color.”
When Adbiraham was originally arrested back in November, KSTP reported that he faced a maximum of 40 years in prison. Prosecutors offered him a 15-year plea agreement, presumably to avoid having to subject taxpayers to the expense of a trial. It remains unclear, however, if 15 years will be enough time for him to reform.
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