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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 26, 2022

New Mexico man indicted for attempting to provide material support to ISIS

Herman Wilson also charged with attempting to obstruct, influence and impede at least one official proceeding

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Herman Leyvoune Wilson, also known as Bilal Mu’Min Abdullah, made an initial appearance in federal court today on an indictment charging him with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and attempting to obstruct, influence and impede at least one official proceeding.

A federal grand jury indicted Wilson, 45, of Albuquerque, on Aug. 23. Wilson will remain in custody pending an arraignment scheduled for Aug. 30.

According to the indictment and other court records, from Jan. 23, 2020, to Nov. 20, 2021, Wilson allegedly attempted to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a foreign terrorist organization. Wilson allegedly attempted to establish an “Islamic State Center” in New Mexico that would teach ISIS ideology, provide training in tactical maneuvers and martial arts, and serve as a safe haven for individuals preparing to travel and fight on behalf of ISIS in the United States and abroad.

Additionally, between Sept. 19, 2020, and October 2020, Wilson allegedly attempted to obstruct, influence and impede at least one official proceeding by commanding and inducing the destruction and concealment of records by shutting down an online platform. From May 2019 to September 2020, Wilson allegedly helped to administer an online platform to promote ISIS ideology, recruit others to ISIS ideology and discuss terrorist attacks in the United States and overseas. Wilson also allegedly used the online platform to promote the Islamic State Center and find potential like-minded individuals to join the center.

In September 2020, Kristopher Matthews and Jaylin Molina were arrested for providing material support to ISIS, and later pleaded guilty in the Western District of Texas. Matthews and Molina admitted that Wilson radicalized them to ISIS’s ideology, and that without Wilson’s influence, they would never have committed the crimes. When Matthews and Molina were arrested, Wilson allegedly instructed online platform members to destroy evidence of their use of the group. Matthews and Molina were sentenced in July 2022 to 20 years and 18 years in prison, respectively.

“Defending our country from terrorism is a core mission of the Department of Justice,” said United States Attorney Uballez. “We will not tolerate threats to our country from terrorist organizations like ISIS. We will vigorously prosecute anyone who attempts to provide material support to terrorists.”

“The FBI takes very seriously its role as America's primary federal law enforcement agency for investigating and preventing acts of international and domestic terrorism,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bujanda. “This investigation was the result of months of painstaking work by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists of FBI special agents, intelligence analysts, other experts, and our federal, state, and local partners. Preventing terrorist attacks against Americans at home and abroad remains the FBI's top priority, and we will vigorously pursue investigations when an individual crosses the line from espousing particular views into planning or committing acts of violence.”

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Wilson faces up to 20 years in prison for each count.

The FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jon K. Stanford, Nicholas Mote and Tavo Hall are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by Trial Attorney John Cella of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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Topic(s): 
Counterterrorism
Domestic Terrorism
Press Release Number: 
22-188
Updated August 26, 2022