Minnesota Court Indicts Teen for Attempting to Join IS – US Justice Dep’t
Minnesota Court Indicts Teen for Attempting to Join IS – US Justice Dep’t © AP Photo/ File
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A Minnesota teen has been indicted for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist organization and for giving a false statement to FBI agents during an investigation about his involvement in the Islamic State, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in a statement.
“The District of Minnesota announced today the indictment of Hamza Naj Ahmed, 19, for conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” the statement, issued on Thursday, said. “Ahmed is also charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIL and for making a false statement in a terrorism investigation.”
Ahmed attempted to join the Islamic State by going through Turkey in November with three other individuals, and is at least the fourth person from Minnesota to be charged with attempting to join Islamic State, Minnesota prosecuting attorney Andrew M. Luger said.
“Since 2007, dozens of people from the Twin Cities have traveled or attempted to travel overseas in support of terror,” Luger said in the DOJ statement.
“While my office will continue to prosecute those who attempt to provide material support to ISIL or any other terrorist organization, we remain committed to working with dedicated community members to bring this cycle to an end,” he added.
The DOJ said that according to indictment and documents filed in court, Ahmed lied to FBI agents on two occasions and was detained on February 5.
Attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization holds a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, along with a $250,000 fine, according to the DOJ.
The United Nations estimates that over 15,000 foreign fighters from over 80 countries have traveled to the region to join the militant group.
The Islamic State began fighting against the Syrian government in 2012 during the country’s ongoing civil war. The extremist militant group later expanded its activities to Iraq and declared a caliphate on the territories it controls in both countries.
The United States has led an international coalition of nearly 60 nations in conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State strongholds since August in Iraq, and since September in Syria, despite receiving no explicit permission from Syrian authorities.