Virginia man who joined Islamic State to start trial Tuesday
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A Virginia man who travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State is set to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Va. on Tuesday to face trial for providing material support to a terrorist organization, The Associated Press reported.

Mohamad Khweis, 27, grew up in northern Virginia and worked as a bus driver in the region before leaving the U.S. in 2015. After traveling through Europe, Khweis arrived in Turkey and, from there, was taken to Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of ISIS. 

From Raqqa, Khweis was set to Mosul, Iraq, but found life in the Islamic State difficult and ultimately tried escaping the militant group several times. Eventually, Khweis was able to make his way to a Kurdish military checkpoint, where he was arrested.


Khweis's travel to territory controlled by the Islamic State surprised U.S. officials, who were unaware that the former bus driver had done so. Most Americans who have been charged with crimes related to ISIS have been picked up in sting operations before they are ever able to leave the U.S.

Khweis's defense attorneys asked during pretrial hearings for the man's confession to be admissible in court, arguing that intelligence interrogators who initially interviewed Khweis essentially prepared him to give answers in a second round of interrogators intended to get information to be used in court.

But prosecutors argued that Khweis was willing to talk about his time with ISIS and "wants his story to get out there."