(JTA) – An Arizona teenager has pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on government buildings and the Tucson Jewish Community Center (JCC).
Mahin Khan, 18, pleaded guilty on Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court to charges of terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons, according to reports.
Khan reportedly struck a plea bargain with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office under which he will serve a prison term of at least five years and no more than 10 years and three months, as opposed to the life sentence that he could have received. He will be sentenced on Nov. 4.
Khan was arrested in his parents’ home on July 1 and has been held in prison without bail for fear he would flee to Syria or Pakistan. He pleaded not guilty at the time.
His parents have said that Khan is autistic and not capable of carrying out the terror attacks he had planned.
The FBI told the court that Khan had described himself in an email as an “American jihadist” who supports the Islamic State. In contact with undercover FBI agents, Khan said he wanted to carry out “lone jihadist” attacks that would kill hundreds of people in Arizona.
In addition to targeting the Tucson JCC, a Motor Vehicles office in Mesa and an Air Force recruitment centre in Tucson were in his sites. Khan revealed his desire to attack the JCC while speaking with an undercover FBI employee in 2015.
Khan lived with his family in a gated community in north Tucson. He had threatened to kill his parents if they discovered his scheme and tried to turn him in.