Material Support/ Thought Crimes Prosecutions

  • A radical idea for sentencing terrorism suspects

    Source: Boston Globe. A federal judge in Minnesota is about to hold a series of hearings to determine whether four young supporters of the Islamic State can be deradicalized, a first-of-its-kind review that could change the way federal courts handle terrorism sympathizers, including in Massachusetts, according to legal and counterterrorism analysts. The men have pleaded guilty to conspiring to travel to the Middle East to support the terror group and face 15-year sentences, but the analysis ordered by US District Judge Michael J. Davis could have a say in whether it would be more suitable to supplant some of that prison time with educational programs.

  • Judge weighs mental state of terror suspect

    Source: ABC News. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman will rule this week on the mental fitness of suburban terror suspect Adel Daoud, who has sent the I-Team a new letter asserting his belief the government is composed of aliens. Daoud’s attorneys argue such statements prove the Hillside native should be found unfit for trial. The 21-year-old is charged with plotting to detonate a bomb outside a bar in Chicago’s South Loop. Defense attorneys say Daoud suffers from delusional disorder which worsened in recent months, especially after one of his cellmates at the MCC committed suicide in January. “I think the argument is that he has seriously deteriorated since he’s been in custody. That that deterioration has been since he’s been housing that sp

  • Terror suspect says he was paid FBI informant and ‘baffled’ by charges

    Source: The Charlotte Observer. Terror suspect says he was paid FBI informant and ‘baffled’ by charges A Charlotte man accused of recruiting for the Islamic State claims that he worked for years with the FBI to identify potential terrorists. Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35, is charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization. In Hendricks’ case, that group is ISIS.

  • Guilty verdict for aiding in attack on anti-Islam cartoon event in Texas

    Source: The New York Times. An Arizona man was found guilty on Thursday of conspiring to support Islamic terrorists by helping to plan an attack at an exhibit of anti-Islam cartoons in Texas. A jury of four men and eight women returned the verdict against the man, Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem, on their third day of deliberations in Federal District Court here, in what the authorities described as the country’s first jury trial involving a violent act committed in the name of the Islamic State. Mr. Kareem, 44, did not accompany the gunmen, but he armed, trained and encouraged them. His lawyer, Daniel D. Maynard, had maintained that the federal government was out to get Mr. Kareem, establishing his role in the attack through his connection to Mr. Simpson and Mr. Soofi, as well as his poor choices. Essentially, Mr. Maynard argued, the case was about misplaced revenge.

  • American accused of assisting men in Isis attack at anti-Islam event in Texas

    Source: The Guardian. Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem is charged with providing support to Isis for what prosecutors describe as a crucial behind-the-scenes role in a plot by two friends to shoot up a prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in the Dallas area. They were killed in a police shootout outside the event. Kareem’s lawyer, Daniel Maynard, said authorities wrongfully targeted his client because his two friends were killed as they tried to carry out a mass shooting. In his closing arguments, Maynard said federal authorities arrested his client to save face for having been warned beforehand about one of the two gunmen who was later killed outside the 3 May contest. Kareem surprised many in the courtroom by taking the stand in his own defense, testifying that he knew nothing about the plans for the attack. His lawyers believe it is a flimsy case that is nothing but guilt by association with Simpson and Soofi.

  • Tairod Pugh, ex-U.S. serviceman, is found guilty of trying to aid ISIS

    Source: The New York Times. A federal jury on Wednesday found a former United States serviceman, Tairod Pugh, guilty of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State, the first such case involving the terrorist group to reach a verdict in a United States courtroom. His lawyers argued that though Mr. Pugh was an ardent ideological supporter of the Islamic State, any thoughts he harbored of joining the group were fantasies. The jury rejected that defense, convicting Mr. Pugh of crimes that carry a potential 35-year sentence. In addition to the terrorism-related charge, he was also found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding, for destroying several flash drives that the government claimed contained evidence against him.

  • PA: Teenager indicted on terrorism charges for his twitter activity

    Source: Democracy Now! In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a 19-year-old has been indicted on terrorism-related charges after the FBI accused him of using Twitter to spread ISIL propaganda. In the criminal complaint, an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force special agent alleges Jalil Ibn Ameer Aziz “commonly uses his Twitter accounts to spread pro-ISIS propaganda, including news from ISIL sources as well as execution photos and videos.”

  • This Virginia teen will spend 11 years in prison for helping ISIS through social media

    Source: The Washington Post. A U.S. district judge sentenced a Virginia teen to more than a decade in prison Friday after he used Twitter to help ISIS supporters hide their financial transactions and would-be foreign fighters looking to travel to Syria. Ali Shukri Amin won’t just have to serve a 136-month sentence after pleading guilty to giving “material support” to ISIS — he’ll also have to let the government monitor his Internet usage for the rest of his life. But the sentence is actually somewhat lighter than what prosecutors had sought, which was 15 years in prison.

  • Florida man, accused of terrorism based on book collection, set free

    Source: The Intercept, The U.S. government had produced “snippets of information from various sources, out of context, to weave together a narrative of terrorist ideation,” a Florida judge said Friday, ordering the release of Marcus Dwayne Robertson, an Orlando-based Islamic scholar who stood accused of supporting terrorism. Robertson, also known as “Abu Taubah,” had been incarcerated since 2011 on charges of tax fraud and illegal gun possession. After his arrest and subsequent conviction on those charges, prosecutors sought to add a terrorism enhancement to his sentence, a sentencing guideline modification that would have sent the Islamic scholar to prison for up to 20 years. Instead, following the judge’s rejection of the enhancement, he was sentenced to time served and ordered released immediately.

  • Lawyers for terrorism suspect take fight to U.S. Supreme Court

    Source: Chicago Tribune. Lawyers for a suburban youth accused of plotting to bomb a Chicago bar are asking the nation’s highest court to grant them unprecedented access to top-secret government surveillance documents. In a 36-page petition filed late last year with the U.S. Supreme Court, lawyers for Adel Daoud are challenging a ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to challenge whether authorities violated constitutional protections against unlawful searches and seizures. The case has drawn national attention because of its possible links to government spying programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. It also shone a spotlight on the difficulty posed for attorneys seeking to defend clients in certain terrorism cases — they can’t challenge search warrants and other documents because they are not allowed to see them.