Terrorism Investigations: Domestic

More Arrests of Americans Attempting to Fight for ISIL in Syria

By Robert Chesney
Monday, April 20, 2015, 1:30 PM

Six Somali-American men from the Minneapolis area have been arrested on material support charges, based on allegations that they were attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIL. The complaint and corresponding FBI affidavit are posted here. Note that the complaint is a handy case study in the variety of investigative techniques that FBI might employ in a case of this kind, with examples including open-source review of a suspect's Twitter and Facebook accounts, use of a CHS ("Confidential Human Source") who previously had been part of this same material support conspiracy, review of call records to establish connections among the defendants, review of bank records, use of video footage recorded in public places, and review of instant messages exchanged via Kik (a footnote on p. 9 of the affidavit notes that Kik "does not maintain records of user conversations").