A federal judge on Tuesday increased her sentence to 25 years for a New York City man who had attacked an FBI agent and planned to join Islamic State group. The new sentence came after a federal appeals court had called the original one of 17 years “shockingly low.”
Fareed Mumuni, 27, pleaded guilty in 2017 to discussing plans to travel overseas to join the militant group, also known as ISIS, and trying to stab an FBI agent after authorities had arrived at his residence in the New York City borough of Staten Island in 2015 to execute a search warrant.
The United States considers the Islamic State group a foreign terrorist organization.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn successfully appealed Mumuni’s 2018 sentence, with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie had improperly second-guessed whether Mumuni truly planned to kill FBI Special Agent Kevin Coughlin, who survived the attack.
Prosecutors on Tuesday asked Brodie to sentence Mumuni to the 85 years recommended by federal guidelines. Anthony Ricco, a lawyer for Mumuni, urged Brodie to reduce the sentence, arguing that Mumuni had rehabilitated himself.
“I got lucky,” Coughlin said during the sentencing hearing on Tuesday as Mumuni, wearing a white skullcap and black face mask, leaned back in his chair.
Brodie called prosecutors’ request for her to sentence Mumuni to 85 years “unreasonable” but said she would place greater weight on his attack on Coughlin and increase the sentence.
Mumuni, whose parents, uncle and two cousins sat in the courtroom’s front row, told Coughlin he was sorry.
“I can’t apologize enough for what I’ve done,” said Mumuni, the son of immigrants from Ghana. He had once interned as a paralegal at the Staten Island district attorney’s office and had been studying to be a social worker and working as a home health aide when he was recruited into Islamic State group.
“Whatever I say cannot take back what I’ve done.”