Apprehension and Arrest of Terrorist Supporters in the United States
There are numerous cases of law enforcement officers apprehending and arresting terrorist supporters in the United States. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FB) have arrested approximately 65 individuals in ISIL-related matters. Many of these arrests helped to prevent violence and attacks in the United States. In addition, the U.S. Treasury and the State Department imposed sanctions on more than 30 ISIL-linked senior leaders, financiers, foreign terrorist facilitators, and organizations in an attempt to isolate ISIL from international financial systems . The following is a summary of material found through a September 15, 2016, Web search of FBI and U.S. District Attorney publications regarding those cases.
- ? On December 22, 2015, Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz, 19 years old, a U.S. citizen and resident of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was charged in an indictment with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIL. He was later charged in a superseding indictment with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and transmitting a communication containing a threat to injure. According to the indictment, from July 2014 to December 17, 2015, Aziz knowingly conspired to provide, provided, and attempted to provide material support, including personnel and services, to ISIL. The superseding indictment alleges that during the same period, Aziz solicited, commanded, induced, and endeavored to persuade others to kill and attempt to kill officers and employees of the United States. The superseding indictment further alleges that he knowingly tweeted the names, addresses, photographs, and military branches of approximately 100 U.S. service members to followers and viewers of his Twitter account. The communication also contained threats to injure the service members, stating “kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their street thinking that they are safe.” Aziz used at least 57 different Twitter accounts to advocate violence against the United States and its citizens, to disseminate ISIL propaganda, and to espouse pro-ISIL views. Aziz allegedly used his Twitter accounts and other electronic communication services to assist persons seeking to travel to and fight for ISIL .
- ? In June 2016, Ardit Ferizi, aka Th3Dir3ctorY, a citizen of Kosovo, pleaded guilty before a U.S. district judge to providing material support to ISIL and accessing a protected computer without authorization and obtaining information. Ferizi admitted to stealing the personally identifiable information of over 1000 U.S. service members and federal government employees, and providing it to ISIL with the understanding that they would incite terrorist attacks against those individuals. The case against Ferizi was the first of its kind involving terrorism and cyber threats .
- ? In July 2016, Haris Qamar, 25 years old, was arrested on charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIL. According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on May 26, Qamar and FBI confidential witness (CW) discussed ISIL’s need of photos of possible targets in and around Washington, D.C., for use in a video that ISIL was purportedly making to encourage lone-wolf attacks in the Washington, D.C., area. Qamar allegedly offered CW ideas of where to take these photographs, including the Pentagon and numerous landmarks in Arlington and Washington, D.C., which could be targeted for terrorist attacks. A conversation was audio and video recorded when CW picked up Qamar in a vehicle and they drove to area landmarks on the list Qamar had developed. Qamar allegedly said “bye bye DC, stupid ass kufar, kill’em all.” Qamar and CW met again on June 10 and drove to a location in Arlington to take additional photos for the ISIL video. The FBI first learned of Qamar as he operated over 60 variations of the Twitter handle “newerajihadi,” which Qamar used to express his support of ISIL and share videos and photos of extreme violence, including beheadings and mass shootings. For example, after terrorists murdered employees of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in January
- 2015, Qamar tweeted his prayer for another similar attack with even more casualties .
- ? In July 2016, Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, 26 years old, a former member of the U.S. Army National Guard, was arrested for attempting to provide material support to ISIL. According to the complaint, Jalloh is alleged to have attempted to provide services by assisting in the procurement of weapons to be used in what he believed was going to be an attack on U.S. soil committed in the name of ISIL, and that he attempted to provide material support to ISIL by providing money to assist in the facilitation of individuals seeking to join ISIL. Jalloh told the confidential human source (CHS) that he was a former member of the Virginia Army National Guard, but that he had decided to quit after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Aulaqi, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He stated that he recently had taken a six-month trip to Africa, where he had met with ISIL members in Nigeria and first began communicating online with the ISIL member who later brokered his introduction to the CHS. During their meeting, Jalloh also told the CHS that he often thought about conducting an attack and that he knew how to shoot guns. Jalloh praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 2015, and stated that he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the November 2009 attack at Fort Hood, Texas .
- ? Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35 years old, tried to recruit people to train together and conduct terrorist attacks in the United States on behalf of ISIL, according to a criminal complaint. In June 2015, an individual (CW-1) was arrested in the Northern District of Ohio after attempting to purchase an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition from an undercover law enforcement officer. CW-1 had pledged allegiance to ISIL in social media and made statements expressing interest in conducting attacks in the United States. Hendricks had contacted CW-1 over social media to recruit him in the spring of 2015. Hendricks allegedly told CW-1 that he needed people and wanted to meet in person; that there were several brothers located in Texas and Mexico; that he was attempting to get brothers to meet face to face; and that he wanted to get brothers to train together. CW-1 said that Hendricks tested his religious knowledge and commitment, inquiring about his willingness to commit jihad, to die as a martyr and his desire to enter jannah (paradise). CW-1 understood these statements to mean that Hendricks was recruiting people to train together for the purpose of conducting a terrorist attack in the United States and to see if CW-1 was suitable for recruitment, according to the allegations. Hendricks also allegedly communicated over social media with several other people, including an undercover FBI employee (UCE- 1). According to the complaint, on April 16, 2015, Hendricks instructed UCE-1 to download the document “GPS for the Ghuraba in the United States” which included a section entitled “Final Advice” and advocated that brothers and sisters should not allow themselves to go to jail, to “Boobie trap your homes, to lay in wait for them and to never leave your home without your AK-47 or M16” .
- ? In August 2016, Nicholas Young, 36 years old, who was employed as a police officer with the Washington D.C. Metro Transit Police Department, was arrested on charges of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. Law enforcement first interviewed Young in September 2010 in connection with his acquaintance, Zachary Chesser, who one month later pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorists. Over the next several years, Young had numerous interactions with undercover law enforcement officers and a cooperating witness regarding Young’s knowledge of or interest in terrorist-related activity, many of which were recorded. Several meetings Young had with an undercover law enforcement officer in 2011 included another of Young’s acquaintances, Amine El Khalifi, who later pleaded guilty to charges relating to attempting a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol building in 2012. Young told FBI agents that he traveled to Libya twice in 2011 and he had been with rebels attempting to overthrow the Muammar Qaddafi regime. Baggage searches revealed that Young traveled with body armor, a Kevlar helmet, and several other military- style items .
Numerous other cases involved efforts by people to travel to Syria and join or provide material support to ISIL. There are also several cases of individuals attempting to recruit fighters for ISIL or raise funds for their efforts. The following headlines come from a September 17, 2016 Web search of the FBI website:
- ? Federal Jury Convicts Three Minnesota Men for Conspiring to Join ISIL and Commit Murder in Syria
- ? Rochester Man Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Tenth Minnesota Man Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? New York Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Maryland Man Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Bronx Man Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? San Joaquin County Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Attempting to Join ISIL
- ? Former New Jersey Resident Charged with Conspiracy and Attempt to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Maryland Man Indicted for Conspiring to Provide and for Providing Material Support to ISIL
- ? Former New Jersey Resident Admits Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? U.S. Citizen Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL and Other Federal Offenses
- ? Two California Men Arrested on Charges of Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Georgia Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Orange County Man Who Admitted He Attempted to Provide Material Support to a Terrorist Organization by Joining ISIL Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison
- ? Manassas Man Sentenced to 11 Years for Providing Material Support to ISIL
- ? Hudson County, New Jersey Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? New Jersey Man Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL and Witness Tampering
- ? Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL and Possessing Firearms as a Felon
- ? Fifth Defendant Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Bolingbrook Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Wife of Dead ISIL Leader Charged in Death of Kayla Jean Mueller
- ? New Jersey Man Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Lackawanna Man Indicted on Charges of Attempting to Provide Support to ISIL
- ? Texas Resident Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? U.S. Army National Guard Soldier and His Cousin Indicted for Conspiring to Support Terrorism (ISIL)
- ? U.S. Air Force Veteran Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? California Resident Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to ISIL and Making False Statements
- ? Three Brooklyn Residents Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Fourth Brooklyn Resident Charged with Attempt and Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? Madison Man Charged with Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL
- ? New York Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL in Connection with Planned New Year’s Eve Attack