Lawal Babafemi, a 35-year-old Nigerian citizen, was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment by a US court in Brooklyn on August 12, Wednesday.
He was accused of receiving weapons training from al Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate and working on the terror group’s media operations.
Reuters reports that Lawal was sentenced by US District Judge John Gleeson after pleading guilty in April 2014.
Prosecutors reportedly sought up to 30 years’ imprisonment for Lawal, who was extradited from Nigeria in 2013 after he was accused of the crime.
Prosecutors said that between January 2010 and August 2011 Lawal had traveled from Nigeria to Yemen twice to meet with leaders of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP. While in Yemen, Lawal reportedly worked on the terror groups media operations, including its magazine “Inspire”.
According to the authorities, Lawal and two others, a Vietnamese man, Minh Quang Pham and US citizen, Samir Khan, produced the magazine. Together, the three men appeared in the magazine in a photograph, wearing camouflage and holding rifles.
Prosecutors added that after Khan and Pham decided to record rap songs as AQAP propaganda, Lawan began writing lyrics about jihad.
The investigation revealed that the group’s leadership had paid Lawal almost $9,000 to recruit English speakers from Nigeria.
Earlier that year, a 31-year-old Nigerian was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment by a New Jersey federal court. Abiodun Ade John was arrested and imprisoned for his role in a computer hacking and identity theft scheme.