Columbus man sentenced to more than 14 years in prison for attempting to support terrorist plot to murder former President
DAYTON – A Beavercreek man has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with attempting to provide material support to ISIS-affiliated foreign terrorist organizations.
Naser Almadaoji, 19, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen, was arrested yesterday at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. It is alleged Almadaoji planned to travel through Kazakhstan on his way to Afghanistan, where he intended to train with ISIS Wilayat Khorasan.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, FBI Assistant Director Michael McGarrity of the Counterterrorism Division and Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, announced the charges.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Almadaoji purchased a plane ticket for travel on October 24, 2018. It is alleged that Almadaoji intended to travel to Astana, Kazahkstan, where he planned to be smuggled into Afghanistan so that he could receive military training from ISIS Wilayat Khorasan in support of the terrorist group, or another ISIS affiliate. Almadaoji explained to an individual whom he believed to be in contact with ISIS that he wanted “weapons experts training, planning, executing, hit and run, capturing high value targets, ways to break into homes and avoid security guards. That type of training.”
It is alleged that in September and October 2018, Almadaoji began making travel plans to Kazakhstan.
Prior to that, between February 16 and 24, 2018, Almadaoji traveled to Egypt and Jordan for the purpose of joining a terrorist group. In August 2018, Almadaoji allegedly communicated online with an individual he believed to be an ISIS contact; Almadaoji allegedly implied to that individual that he tried to join a terrorist group when in Jordan and Egypt, stating “I don’t wanna say here why I was in egypt but him [an Egyptian associate] and I planned something and it didn’t work at [sic] well.”
It also is alleged that, in August 2018, Almadaoji told a second individual online—whom Almadaoji believed to be associated with ISIS—that he was “always willing” to assist with “projects” in the United States.
According to the affidavit, Almadaoji pledged allegiance to ISIS and discussed with his second contact that he planned to start a conflict between the United States Government and anti-government militias. Almadaoji allegedly recorded and sent a video of himself wearing a headscarf and pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS.
It is further alleged that Almadaoji translated ISIS propaganda from Arabic to English, and he told his contact—whom Almadaoji believed to be part of ISIS—“Don’t thank me . . . it’s my duty.”
Attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization is a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Assistant Attorney General Demers and U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI.
“This is the third individual arrested by the FBI on terrorism charges in just over a week. As demonstrated by these arrests – two in Ohio and one in Illinois – the threat posed by terrorism remains extremely serious,” said Assistant Director Michael McGarrity of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division. “The FBI is working with our law enforcement partners day and night through our Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the nation to identify terrorists and those who support them. The American public also has an important role to play, and we urge anyone who sees something suspicious to contact law enforcement. Your tips are vitally important to protecting our country.”
The FBI’s Dayton-Cincinnati Joint Terrorism Task Force includes officers and agents from Cincinnati, Cincinnati State, Colerain Township, Dayton, University of Cincinnati and West Chester police departments, Greene and Hamilton county sheriff’s offices, Oakwood Public Safety Department, United States Department of Homeland Security and Columbus International Airport Police and Public Safety.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dominick S. Gerace, First Assistant United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel and Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
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