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Press Release

Kissimmee Man Pleads Guilty For Lying To The FBI In Connection With An International Terrorism Investigation

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

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg, announces that Moad Mohamed Benkabbou (23, Kissimmee) has pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to a federal agency. He faces a maximum sentence of eight years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

On August 9, 2022, FBI agents interviewed Benkabbou and asked him several questions relating to a terrorism investigation. When asked if he ever talked about ISIS with a person known to FBI, Benkabbou falsely answered “No, I didn’t.” Benkabbou was asked if he ever made plans to travel overseas to join ISIS. Again, he falsely stated, “No, I didn’t.”

According to the plea agreement and evidence admitted during a detention hearing, Benkabbou swore an oath to support ISIS in January 2020, made plans to travel to Turkey and Syria to fight for ISIS, sent money to support ISIS, purchased airplane tickets for travel to Turkey in August 2020 and January 2021 (later canceling both tickets), and sent ISIS propaganda videos to others, including ISIS-sponsored videos showing the executions (by gunshot and beheading) of American allies fighting against ISIS. Benkabbou also sent a picture of himself dressed as an ISIS fighter with the statement, “Hey Crusaders hey Jews die within your rage.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shawn P. Napier.

Updated May 8, 2023

National Security