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Feb 17, 4:09 PM EST

Virginia man gets 8 years for trying to help Islamic State

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia man caught trying to help the Islamic State group during an FBI sting last year has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.

The sentence imposed Friday at federal court on 26-year-old Haris Qamar is more than the five- to six-year term requested by his lawyer but less than the 20-year maximum recommended under sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors urged a long sentence of unspecified length.

Qamar used variations of the handle "New Era Jihadi" on social media to promote Islamic State propaganda. He met with an FBI informant who convinced Qamar to buy gift cards that were purportedly to be used to help the Islamic State.

Qamar also took photographs of D.C.-area landmarks for what he thought would be an Islamic State video.

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