Georgia Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Atlanta, GA…Leon Nathan Davis, 37, of Augusta, Georgia, was sentenced today to 15 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge J. Randal Hall of the Southern District of Georgia for attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, namely, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Davis pleaded guilty to an information charging him with attempting to provide material support to ISIL on May 27, 2015. His prison term will be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver of the Southern District of Georgia and Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office made the announcement.

“It is the obligation of all nations to serve as responsible global citizens and stem the flow of their residents from traveling abroad as foreign terrorist fighters engaged in the violence and oppression that ISIL is inflicting everywhere it operates,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “One of the National Security Division’s top priorities remains stemming the flow of foreign fighters and bringing to justice those who seek to provide material support to foreign designated terrorist organizations.”

“This defendant planned for over a year to join, assist and fight alongside an enemy of the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Tarver. “His actions were criminal and he now faces a lengthy federal prison sentence. I commend the hard work of the federal and local agents who work to keep our nation safe from terrorist organizations such as ISIL.”

“The details and federal charges in this case provide a clear illustration of the problems that we face as a nation when our own citizens become radicalized in support of a foreign terrorist organization such as ISIL,” said Special Agent in Charge Johnson. “Today’s sentencing of Mr. Davis in federal court, however, clearly illustrates the consequences. The FBI will continue to partner with its various local, state and other federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies as we remain vigilant in identifying, investigating and presenting for prosecution those individuals who would pose a threat to our national security in this manner.”

Evidence produced at the guilty plea and sentencing hearings revealed that for more than a year, an FBI-led team investigated Davis’ attempts to join an overseas designated foreign terrorist organization. Davis was arrested at the Atlanta Hartfield-Jackson Airport in October 2014 on a parole violation, after he had purchased a ticket to fly to Turkey and then traveled from Augusta to the Atlanta airport. Davis has been in custody since his arrest.

Assistant Attorney General Carlin and U.S. Attorney Tarver commended the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles for their work on this case. Carlin and Tarver also expressed gratitude to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service and the Atlanta Police Department for their contributions to the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charlie Bourne and Nancy Greenwood of the Southern District of Georgia and Trial Attorney Clement McGovern of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

John Hamilton