A Topeka man who plotted to set off a bomb at Fort Riley, Kan., on behalf of the Islamic State was sentenced Monday to 30 years in federal prison.
John T. Booker Jr., 22, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., where he pleaded guilty last year to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted destruction of government property by fire or explosives.
Booker first came to the attention of authorities in March 2014 after posting on Facebook that he wanted to wage “jihad.”
Federal agents questioned him, but he was not arrested.
Never miss a local story.
Later in 2014, Booker began communicating with someone online who was a confidential FBI source.
Booker expressed his desire to join the Islamic State and to kill Americans.
That source later introduced Booker to a second source who said they were planning terrorist attacks in the United States.
Booker told the source that he wanted to detonate a truck bomb at Fort Riley, home of the Big Red One, the Army's 1st Infantry Division.
Booker recorded two videos to be released after his death in which he warned Americans that the war being waged by the Islamic State was being brought to their doorstep.
In preparation for the attack, Booker rented a storage locker and gathered components and materials for the planned bomb.
Authorities said the bomb Booker thought was being constructed was inert and could not explode.
In April 2015, Booker was arrested after he and one of the FBI sources drove to an area outside the gate at Fort Riley where Booker believed he armed the bomb to detonate. He planned to drive the bomb onto the base and find a location where he could kill as many soldiers as possible.
A second man who was aware of Booker’s plan and loaned him money was also charged in the case.
Alexander E. Blair pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year and three months in prison.