The U.S. continues to pursue terrorists and potential terrorists in the homeland. Here are three recent convictions for US ISIS supporters:
A 19-year-old man accused of trying to join ISIS changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in a South Carolina court.
Zakariya Abdin faces up to 20 years in a federal prison and will be sentenced at a later date. Earlier this year, Abdin’s trial was delayed because of the Classified Information Procedures Act. Since information on him was too sensitive to be revealed, both the prosecutor and Abdin’s lawyer asked that the trial be postponed.
Abdin, whose family is from Syria, was first arrested and convicted on a gun charge when he was 16. During the investigation of that crime, law enforcement officials learned he was planning to join ISIS in Syria and had linked up with militant Muslims in Raleigh, North Carolina. The group he was involved with was planning to rob a gun store and use the weapons to kill American soldiers.
Abdin was subsequently sentenced to juvenile prison, where legally he could have been kept until he was 21. Yet despite vigorous protests by the York police chief, who testified twice before the juvenile parole board that Abdin would be a serious threat if released, the board decided the teenager had changed and released him after only one year of detention.
He was “one of the scariest people I have ever come in contact with,” said York Police Chief Andy Robinson.
Upon his release, Abdin moved to Charleston and almost immediately began making contact with ISIS again. Just nine months after his release from juvenile prison, he bought two weapons. He began speaking on social media to someone whom he thought was an ISIS recruiter but was actually an undercover FBI agent. Abdin, who was 18 at the time, said:
“I was very close to doing what our [brother] Omar did,” referring to Omar Mateen, the Islamist gunman who slaughtered 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.
“I was going to do the same thing one month later,” Abdin wrote,”but I did not have weapons … so I saved and saved … got weapons.”
Talking about his plans to join ISIS, according to court documents, he said to the “recruiter”: “I have good experience in close combat…I have taken gun courses. I want to kill and be killed. I run toward the enemy like a lion to a sheep.”
Abdin told the undercover agent he might not be able to get a passport, considering his past. In that case, he said, “I am prepared to do anything you need here.”
Under FBI monitoring, he obtained a passport and booked a flight to Jordan. He was arrested at Charleston’s airport before he could board the flight.
An ex-Marine and convert to Islam who was arrested in California for plotting a large-scale terror attack on San Francisco’s Pier 39 was sentenced to 15 years in prison in a plea deal for admitting he tried to help a terrorist organization.
Everitt Aaron Jameson, a 26-year-old tow truck driver, now goes by
the name of Abdallah abu Everitt ibn Gordon al-Amriki. Authorities began watching him after a tip from an informant who told them he liked pro-ISIS and pro-terrorism Facebook posts.
“He had been there [to Pier 39] before and knew that it was a heavily crowded area. Jameson explained that he also desired to use explosives, and described a plan in which explosives could ‘tunnel’ or ‘funnel’ people into a location where Jameson could inflict casualties.”
Jameson had trained as a sharp shooter, before being discharged from the Marines for failing to disclose that he had asthma. He planned to continue shooting victims until he was killed.
Jameson tried to procure from an undercover FBI agent (whom he thought was a senior ISIS figure) an assault rifle and ammunition as well as material to make a pipe bomb — tubing, nails, timers and remote detonators.
From a search of Jameson’s home, FBI officials found guns and ammunitions and a signed note from him saying, “I Abdallah [abu] Everitt ibn Gordon have committed these acts upon the Kuffar [non-Muslims], in the name of Dar al Islam [the Muslim world], Allahu Akbar! You’ve Allowed Donald J Trump to give away Al Quds [Jerusalem] to the Jews. Both You and he are wrong, it belongs to the Muslemeen [Muslims]. Long Live Isil [ISIS], Long Live Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [ISIS’ self-styled caliph].”
A North Carolina man who expressed support on social media for ISIS and terror attacks was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to immigration and tax violations. After serving his sentence, he will be deported to his native country, Tunisia, and will be obligated to pay $18,000 in restitution to the U.S. government for the benefits he received by falsifying his tax returns.
Houcine Bechir Ghoul was charged with attempted unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization and filing a false tax return.
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