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Press Release

Ohio Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL and Possessing Firearms as a Felon

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Sheffield Lake, Ohio, man pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, as well as firearms violations.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon of the Northern District of Ohio and Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI’s Cleveland Division made the announcement.

Amir Said Rahman Al-Ghazi, 39, also known as Robert C. McCollum, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIL and two counts of possessing firearms as a felon.

Al-Ghazi, who changed his name from Robert McCollum last year, pledged his support to ISIL and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi via social media in 2014.  From July 2014 to June 2015, Al-Ghazi made multiple statements trying to persuade others to join ISIL.  He also expressed his own desire to perpetrate an attack on the United States and attempted to purchase an AK-47 assault rifle.  Al-Ghazi has communicated with individuals he believed to be members of ISIL in the Middle East and took steps to create propaganda videos for ISIL, according to court documents. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23, 2016.

This case was investigated by the FBI.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew W. Shepherd and Christos N. Georgalis of the Northern District of Ohio, with assistance from the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.  

Updated August 11, 2016

National Security
Press Release Number: 16-302