Far too close to home [Editorial]

The War on Terror, the longest conflict in our nation’s history, came to Harford County not long ago, and all of us are fortunate in how it turned out.

Mohamed Elshinawy, 33, an Edgewood resident, was recently sentenced in federal court to 20 years in prison for accepting at least $8,700 from ISIS terrorists, according to Ian Duncan’s fine Baltimore Sun piece about the case that The Aegis published Wednesday.

The Elshinawy saga touched three continents and is the only publicly known instance of a Syrian group sending money to an operative in the United States, Duncan reported.

He also wrote that the federal prosecutor, Christine Manuelian, said the Elshinawy was tied to major ISIS figures in the Middle East and Europe.

Make no mistake about it, this is a big time case of terrorism that unfolded in our county.

The $8,700 Elshinawy admitted taking from the group was for bomb making, prosecutors said. It was merely a ruse for getting money from ISIS, Elshinawy’s defense claimed, maintaining that the Edgewood man never intended to make a bomb.

He found foreign terrorists, contacted them and convinced them to give him at least $8,700. ISIS members thought he was going to make bombs and explode them.

Federal law enforcement officials thought he was going to make bombs; that’s why they investigated him, busted him and convicted him.

Whether Elshinawy intended to make and detonate a bomb or bombs no longer matters. What matters is that he will spend the next 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to the charges, and we’re all just a little bit safer with one less terrorist in our midst.

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