Columbia man sentenced for plotting terrorist attack

3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago Wednesday, March 04 2020 Mar 4, 2020 Wednesday, March 04, 2020 4:55:00 PM CST March 04, 2020 in News
By: Cory Johnson & Maggie Madro, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

KANSAS CITY - A Columbia man was sentenced Wednesday to over 19 years in prison after plotting a mass terrorist attack.

Robert Hester was arrested in February 2017 after arriving at an arranged meeting with an undercover law enforcement agent.

U.S. District Judge Greg Kays sentenced Hester to 236 months in prison without parole. Hester was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release after he completes his time in prison.

A February 2017 affidavit said an investigation started when the FBI was alerted to social media posts Hester made supporting ISIS.

Court documents said Hester's statements included his opinion that the U.S. government should be “overthrown,” and suggested “hitting” the government “hard,” while noting that it would not be “a one man job.” Hester identified categories of potential targets for attack and said he wanted a “global jihad.”

Communications between Hester and undercover agents continued for two weeks and Hester predicted the attack was "going to be a good day for Muslims worldwide," federal prosecutor Tammy Dickinson said.

Hester was previously arrested in October 2016 for a domestic dispute in the Conley Road Hyvee parking lot with his wife, in which police said he pulled a knife on her and then a handgun on a store employee who tried to stop the dispute. 

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