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Press Release

Fremont Man Indicted For Attempting To Travel To Join Terrorist Group

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

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury in San Francisco returned an indictment that was unsealed today, charging Adam Shafi with one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.

According to the indictment, Shafi, 22, of Fremont, Calif., is alleged to have attempted to provide personnel to al-Nusrah Front (ANF), an organization designated by the Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity.  The indictment alleges that at the time Shafi provided the support, he knew ANF was a designated foreign terrorist organization and that the organization had engaged and was engaging in terrorist activity and terrorism in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B.

An affidavit filed by an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with a criminal complaint filed in the same matter also alleges that Shafi was stopped at San Francisco International Airport on June 30, 2015, as he was about to board a non-stop flight to Istanbul, Turkey.  As explained in the affidavit, Turkey is a common point of entry into Syria for foreign fighters hoping to join terrorist organizations such as ANF and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  The affidavit details a number of telephone conversations Shafi had with his friends in the days and weeks leading up to his trip during which he expressed his love of “Jaulani,” the amir of ANF, his willingness to “die with them,” his hope that “Allah doesn’t take [his] soul until [he has] at least, like, a couple gallons of blood that [he’s] spilled for him,” his fear of meeting Allah “when [his] face has no scars on it,” and his progress in saving enough money for his trip.

Shafi was arrested on July 3, 2015, based on the complaint filed in this matter.  Both the complaint and indictment were unsealed late this morning in open court when Shafi appeared before the Honorable Sallie Kim, United States Magistrate Judge, for his arraignment.  Shafi is currently in custody, but has moved for bail.  A bail hearing is scheduled for December 22, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Kim. 

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. 

This case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Updated April 19, 2017