CHICAGO — A Texas man was sentenced to 20 years in jail Thursday for seeking out Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and offering his services to perform “violent jihad,” prosecutors said.
Barry Walter Bujol Jr, 30, was caught in a sting using a confidential informant after law enforcement thrice thwarted his attempts to leave the United States to pursue jihad in 2009.
Bujol had contacted radical US-born cleric Anwar Al-Awlaqi — who was slain last year in a drone strike — for advice and received a document titled “42 Ways of Supporting Jihad” in return, according to prosecutors.
He tried to prove his worth by performing numerous purported “training exercises” and repeatedly told the informant that Al-Qaeda should target the US personnel who operate unmanned drones targeting militants.
Bujol was arrested in 2010 after trying to stow away on a ship he thought was bound for Algeria with money, supplies and US military manuals he aimed to deliver to Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen.
When police searched his home, they found a martyrdom video on his computer in which Bujol told his wife he would likely not see her until the afterlife because he had gone to pursue jihad.
“We do not take matters of potential national security lightly,” said US Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
“This case and its successful resolution represents our commitment to making our communities a safer place to live.”
Bujol, who represented himself at the four-day trial, was found guilty of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and aggravated identity theft for using false identification to enter the Port of Houston.