We haven’t seen a counterterrorism arrest out of the Washington, DC area in almost two months—not since a WMTA police officer was arrested in early August. But the Justice Department broke the dry spell earlier this week when they announced the arrest of 24-year-old Nelash Mohamed Das.
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The Justice Department has now issued a press release on the charges leveled against Ahmad Khan Rahami for his suspected role in the bombings this past weekend in New York and New Jersey. With the glut of news available on Rahami's arrest and possible motives, it's useful to take a step back and review the information presented in the press release and the criminal complaints now filed against Rahami.
In a federal district court in Washington, D.C. this past Thursday, Irfan Demirtas pleaded guilty to providing material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU). Unlike many of the recent FBI arrestees, who tend to be young men travelling to fight for ISIL, the defendant in this case is 58 years old and charged with supporting a terrorist group that many Americans have never heard of.
Last Thursday, two material support defendants had important dates in federal district court. In the Northern District of Mississippi, Jaelyn Delshaun Young was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conspiring to provide material support to ISIL. Meanwhile, in the Western District of New York, Emanuel L. Lutchman pleaded guilty to the same charge.
On Wednesday in Fairfax, Virginia, the FBI arrested Nicholas Young, a 36-year-old police officer with the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority, on charges of attempting to provide material support to ISIL. As we mentioned several weeks ago, the Washington, D.C. area has recently seen an uptick in men attempting to travel overseas to join ISIL, or otherwise providing support to the designated terrorist group.
Last Friday, a federal district court in the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Joseph Hassan Farrokh, a 29-year-old man from Woodbridge, Virginia, to 102 months in prison for attempting to provide material support to ISIL.
The House Intelligence Committee today released the long-classified 28 pages of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks that deal with the alleged role of Saudi Arabia in the attacks.
Last Tuesday, the FBI arrested a 26 year-old man just outside Washington, DC in Sterling, Virginia. According to the Justice Department’s press release, Bailor Jalloh was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIL by assisting in the procurement of weapons to be used in an attack on U.S. soil, as well as sending funds to the terrorist group.
Yesterday in the Central District of California, Muhanad Badawi and Nader Elhuzayel—two men from Anaheim—were convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State. According to the complaint, Elhuzayel re-tweeted Elton Simpson's final tweet, praising Simpson after he was killed during an attack on a conference in Garland, Texas.
This week, the federal district courts in both the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Texas confronted ISIS’s ability to recruit Americans to travel overseas to join and fight for the caliphate.