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Press Release

Hamden Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for Attempting to Travel to Fight for ISIS

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

KEVIN IMAN McCORMICK, 30, of Hamden, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to 144 months of imprisonment, followed a lifetime term of supervised release with monitoring of his electronic devices, for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery, Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Special Agent in Charge Robert Fuller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Haven Division made the announcement.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between August and October 2019, McCormick made several statements to others expressing a desire to travel to Syria and to fight for ISIS.  In August 2019, McCormick stated to members of a Muslim community center that “we should support ISIS” and “jihad is the way to go.” In another conversation in October 2019, McCormick stated “I gotta fight bro, because those people, Abu Masa and ISIL, they fought for me bro, I know it, I can feel it, in my heart. So it’s my time to fight . . . It just is what it is bro, it’s just my – it’s just my time to go bro.”  When McCormick was asked to elaborate on where he would like to travel, McCormick responded, “I don’t know, I don’t know bro – it’s gotta be like Syria. Where ISIL is at….whichever place is easiest, whatever place I can get there the fastest, the quickest, the easiest, and where I can have a rifle and I can have some people bro. That’s what I need, I need a rifle and I need some people, I need Islamic law, I need, that’s what I need, because if I have these things, it’s gonna to be very hard to kill me.”

On October 12, 2019, McCormick attempted to board a flight from Connecticut to Jamaica, but was prevented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  McCormick subsequently told an individual that he wanted to travel to Jamaica, and then onward to Syria to join ISIS.  He also indicated that he wanted to acquire weapons.

On October 19, 2019, McCormick made a video during which he pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.  Also on that date, he purchased a plane ticket from Toronto, Canada, to Amman, Jordan.  On October 21, 2019, McCormick was arrested after he traveled to a small private airport in Connecticut where he expected to board a plane that would fly him to Canada.

McCormick has been detained since his arrest.  On January 12, 2023, he pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

This matter was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) with the assistance of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The FBI’s JTTF includes participants from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction, Norwich Police Department, Hartford Police Department, Stamford Police Department, Town of Groton Police Department, Yale Police Department, and New York Police Department.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neeraj Patel and Peter Jongbloed of the District of Connecticut, and Trial Attorneys Justin Sher and John Cella from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Updated December 21, 2023

National Security