USA v. Hester, Robert Lorenzo
Jefferson City, MO
Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)
[WDMO] Robert Lorenzo Hester of Jefferson City, MO, was charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Hester was enlisted in the U.S. Army for less than a year, receiving a general discharge from service in mid-2013. According to the affidavit, the investigation began when the FBI became aware (through multiple confidential sources) of Hester's social media posts, in which he expressed animus towards the U.S. and suggested an adherence to radical Islamic ideology and a propensity for violence. Hester used several online aliases, including "Mohammed Junaid Al Amreeki," "Junaid Muhammad," "Rabbani Junaid Muhammad," "Rami Talib" and "Ali Talib Muhammad." Hester communicated to a confidential source via social media, text and an encrypted messaging app saying the U.S. government should be "overthrown" and suggesting "hitting" the government "hard," while noting that it would not be "a one man job." Citing his brief enlistment in the U.S. Army, Hester claimed proficiency with "assault weapons" and said that his favorite firearm was the AK-47 rifle. Hester pleaded guilty to his role in making preparations to launch a terrorist attacks with persons he believed to be ISIS members and was sentenced to 19 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to ISIS.