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Press Release

Alexandria Man Charged with Providing Material Support to ISIL

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

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In a criminal complaint unsealed here today, Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 26, of Alexandria, has been charged with providing, and conspiring to provide, material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Khweis was detained by Kurdish Peshmerga military forces on March 14 in northern Iraq after leaving an ISIL-controlled neighborhood in Tal Afar, Iraq.  According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Khweis admitted to flying out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport to begin his travel to join ISIL in mid-December 2015. His travel included a stop in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before ultimately crossing into Syria through the Republic of Turkey with the help of ISIL facilitators.  Khweis admitted that he stayed in an ISIL safe house in Raqqa, Syria with other ISIL recruits who were going through an intake process, and at one point during the intake process he answered yes when asked by ISIL if he would be a suicide bomber.  Khweis also admitted to participating in ISIL-directed religious training for nearly one month in preparation for his service to ISIL.

Khweis will have his initial appearance at the federal courthouse in Alexandria today at 2 p.m. in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; and Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the unsealing of the criminal complaint.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick and Trial Attorney Raj Parekh of the Justice Department’s National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-mj-213.

The criminal complaint contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Updated June 9, 2016

National Security