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US man sentenced for attempting to join IS

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Washington: A 24-year-old US man was sentenced to 82 months in prison for attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

According to an official Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statement, Michael Todd Wolfe aka Faruq, of Austin, Texas, was sentenced on Friday by US District Court Judge Sam Sparks to serve 82 months in federal prison for attempting to provide material support to the designated foreign terrorist organisation.

In June 2014, Wolfe pleaded guilty to the charge, admitting that from August 2013 to June 17, 2014, he planned to travel to the Middle East to provide material support to the IS.

Wolfe previously acknowledged that he applied for and acquired a US passport, participated in physical fitness training, practiced military manoeuvre and made efforts to conceal his communications about his plans to travel overseas to engage in the jihad.

Wolfe also purchased airline tickets so that he could travel to Europe to meet an FBI undercover employee, whom the defendant then believed would facilitate travel to Syria.

He was arrested on June 17, 2014 as he attempted to board a flight to Toronto, Canada from Houston.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said that over 22,000 fighters from around the world, including nearly 4,000 from western countries and 100 from the US, had fled to Syria to join the IS.

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20 killed in Turkey earthquake

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Ankara: At least 20 people were killed and 1,015 others injured after a massive earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted eastern Turkey, authorities said on Saturday.

The quake hit the Elazig province at 8.55 p.m. on Friday night, with its epicentre in Sivrice district, along with neighbouring provinces and countries including Syria and Georgia, reports Anadolu News Agency.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said that most of the injured were reported in Elazig (560).

The search and rescue operations were continuing and the death toll could rise, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters on Saturday.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said the injured were transferred to hospitals and facilities have been opened to serve those who have been affected.

The AFAD said 118 aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 2.7 to 5.4, were felt following the initial temblor.

National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said the army was ready to step into action if necessary.

The quake was also felt in other provinces including Adana, Osmaniye, Tunceli and Hatay, said Anadolu News Agency.

In addition, northern Syrian regions including Idlib, Azaz, Al-Bab, Jarabulus, Afrin and Tal Abyad also felt the tremors.

This is not the first quake to hit Turkey in 2020.

A 5.4-magnitude quake jolted western province of Manisa on Wednesday, while Ankara was rattled by a 4.5-magnitude temblor on Thursday.

A total of 51 people were killed in 2010 when a 6.0-magnitude quake had hit Elazig province.

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