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Detroit-area man who threatened church and claimed allegiance to ISIS faces sentencing

Joe Gratz

Federal prosecutors are recommending an eight-year prison sentence for a Detroit-area man accused of endorsing Islamic State and making threats against a church.

Khalil Abu Rayyan of Dearborn Heights is returning to federal court Monday, six months after pleading guilty to gun charges. He was not charged with terrorism-related crimes. But investigators say he made threats against a church and others in support of Islamic State.

The government says Rayyan told an undercover agent that he wanted to carry out a "martyrdom operation." Prosecutors say he's still a threat to the public.

Rayyan soon will turn 23. His lawyer says any threats made to the agent were boasts simply meant to impress her. Todd Shanker says Rayyan has greatly matured while in custody for more than a year.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.