Williamsburg man pleads guilty to lying about trip to Jordan

Shivam Patel (Photo: Western Tidewater Regional Jail)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP/WAVY) — A Williamsburg man has admitted he lied about taking a trip to Jordan in a failed attempt to join the Islamic State group.

Shivam Patel pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to two counts of making false statements.

Court documents and prosecutors say that while texting with an FBI informant in 2016, Patel expressed admiration for a U.S. Army officer who shot and killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas.

Prosecutors say Patel was working in China that summer when he flew to Jordan. He was arrested, detained and then returned to the United States.

He was alleged to have told an undercover agent he wanted to join a “Muslim army” and commit jihad.

Patel later tried to join the U.S. Army and Air Force. During the application process, he lied to recruiters about the trip he’d taken to Jordan in a failed attempt to make contact with the Islamic State.

Patel faces up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 4.