A U.S. judge sentenced an American woman who pleaded guilty to helping recruit Islamic State fighters to a four-year prison term on Wednesday -- a sentence prosecutors argue is “exceedingly low” after she admitted she double-crossed prosecutors.
Sinmyah Amera Caesar, 24, who admitted to being an Islamic State recruiter and betraying the U.S. government as a cooperator, will only serve four years in jail in spite of the 30 to 50 years originally sought by prosecutors.
Caesar, alias “Umm Nutella” will end up serving only 18 months of her given sentence, after receiving a 29-month credit for the time she had already served, says John Murzallis, spokesperson for the Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein ruling in Caesar’s terrorism trial comes just a day after her defense attorney, Deirdre Von Dornum, told the judge: “We just need to give her a lot more help this time."
“I don’t blame others, I blame myself,” Caesar told a Brooklyn court Wednesday while reading from a prepared statement. “I understand the actions I took were wrong, and I will never do it again."
Prosecutor Ian Richardson told Weinstein that Caesar's sentencing was “exceeding low” after prosecutors recognized her untrustworthiness. Prosecutors uncovered in 2018 she had contacted her Islamic state associates while out on bail despite signing a cooperation agreement with the FBI. Prosecutors argued 30 to 50 years would be more suitable for Ceasar, whom they believe still poses a threat to national security.
Weinstein, a liberal judge, told prosecutors he found evidence regarding Caesar’s troubled past of sexual abuse and childhood trauma convincing enough for him to grant her another chance.
“She is well on her way to rehabilitation,” said Weinstein.
The leniency has the potential to “save her as a human being," he emphasized.
Fox News’ Kira Grant and The Associated Press contributed to this report.