NEW BERN – The United States Attorney’s Office announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced AVIN MARSALIS BROWN, 23, of Raleigh and AKBA JIHAD JORDAN, 23, also of Raleigh. BROWN was sentenced to 92 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and JORDAN was sentenced to 108 months imprisonment, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
BROWN and JORDAN were arrested and charged in a criminal complaint on March 19, 2014. A Grand Jury Indictment was filed on April 1, 2014, charging them with conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism. BROWN pled guilty to the charge on August 12, 2014, and JORDAN pled guilty on October 16, 2014.
Beginning in 2013, BROWN and JORDAN had numerous conversations in which they discussed their desire to travel to either Syria or Yemen to engage in violent jihad and fight the “kuffar” (non-Muslims).
JORDAN emphasized the need to be physically fit and to train with firearms so they could fight overseas. JORDAN discussed the weapons that he had in his possession, including an AK-47, and how to use those weapons in fighting the kuffar. To this end, JORDAN conducted physical training and firearm and tactics training with BROWN.
BROWN and JORDAN also discussed the need to obtain passports to travel overseas for purposes of violent jihad. JORDAN commented on several occasions that he wanted to go to Syria because he believed the caliphate may start there and he wanted to be a part of that. BROWN stated he would like to go to Syria or Yemen.
In December of 2013, in a meeting at JORDAN's apartment, JORDAN brought out an AK-47 and a vest which contained several loaded magazines. He additionally displayed a Mini l4 assault rifle, more ammunition, and a sword. JORDAN showed BROWN how to break down the AK-47 and explained the capabilities of the weapons.
Throughout early 2014, BROWN and JORDAN continued discussing fighting in overseas locations and the best routes of travel to those locations which most frequently included Syria and Yemen. In January of 2014, BROWN stated that he had received his United States passport. JORDAN stated he was still trying to secure the funds for his passport, and he scheduled an appointment at a local United States Post Office for March 21, 2014.
In February of 2014, BROWN and JORDAN discussed how using the cover of a charity would make it easier to get into Syria. They also discussed persons who have been arrested traveling overseas to fight and talked about countermeasures to defeat criminal charges.
On March 19, 2014, BROWN traveled to Raleigh Durham International Airport and was arrested without incident. Upon being arrested, BROWN gave a statement acknowledging that he had purchased a ticket to fly to Istanbul, Turkey, with the intention of traveling to Syria to fight. On March 19, 2014, agents also arrested Jordan in Raleigh, N.C.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the FBI’s Raleigh-Durham Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes participation by the following agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigation, Raleigh Police Department, Durham Police Department, Cary Police Department, NC State Bureau of Investigation, and the NC State Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorneys Eric D. Goulian and Jason M. Kellhofer prosecuted the case for the government.
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