Material Support/ Thought Crimes Prosecutions

  • He tried to stop his friend from joining ISIS. But then he lied to the FBI.

    Source: The Washington Post. When the FBI came to Amri’s Fairfax, Va., gaming center and asked whether he knew anyone who had expressed support for the Islamic State or tried to join the group, Amri decided he could not expose a close friend. Amri asked his business partner, Michael Queen, to lie as well. Now they are both convicted felons, sentenced this month to two years in prison.

  • Mass. man convicted of plotting to kill for ISIS

    Source: Boston Globe. A federal jury Wednesday found David Daoud Wright guilty of plotting to kill Americans on behalf of the Islamic State, capping a terrorism conspiracy trial that pitted free speech rights against security interests. Wright, 28, faces a potential life sentence after he was convicted on all five of the charges against him: conspiring to support a terrorist organization; conspiring to commit acts of terrorism beyond national boundaries; conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice; and two counts of obstruction of justice. During her closing arguments Tuesday, Hedges accused prosecutors of exploiting “the fear that ISIS inspired,” and said that Wright had the right under the First Amendment to collect propaganda, no matter how disturbing, and disseminate it. In an unusual move, Wright took the stand in his own defense last week, describing himself as an overweight, unhappy man who pretended to be an ISIS combatant in a desperate bid for attention.

  • Bin Laden son-in-law’s conviction upheld; U.S. says ‘justice done’

    Source: Reuters. A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld the conviction on terrorism charges of Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti-born cleric who was a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden and spokesman for the al Qaeda leader. Abu Ghaith, 51, who is serving a life sentence, had claimed that the evidence did not support his conviction for conspiring to murder Americans, and that the indictment failed to detail how he had provided material support of terrorism. But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan found “overwhelming” proof that Abu Ghaith knew of al Qaeda’s goal of killing Americans and intended to participate, even if he did not know details of any specific planned act of terror. Abu Ghaith is serving his sentence at the “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado.

  • In Geller beheading plot, men ‘hoped to achieve martyrdom’

    Source: Boston Herald. An Everett man dismissed by his own lawyer as a fat, failed loner was the mastermind in a plot to behead conservative columnist ­Pamela Geller, his alleged co-conspirator testified yesterday. “We hoped to achieve martyrdom,” Nicholas Ro­vinski testified in Boston federal court, referring to himself, defendant David Wright, who is facing terrorism charges, and Wright’s uncle, Usaamah Rahim, who was shot and killed as he brandished a knife in a confrontation with police and federal agents in Boston. Wright, 28, of Everett is charged with conspiring to commit acts of terrorism, among other charges, and could face up to life in prison if convicted. On cross-examination, Wright’s attorney, Jessica Hedges, tried to show the group more as bumblers than lethal jihadists. Hedges pressed Rovinski on other ideas he had come up with to cause havoc, including taking over a battleship, unleashing an electromagnetic pulse, or overloading the U.S. with opiates and then suddenly cutting off the supply. Rovinski, who has cerebral palsy and walks with a limp, acknowledged that he and Wright, who weighed 500 pounds at the time of his arrest, did not have the means to carry out these attacks.

  • Queens man Is charged with trying to enter Syria to join ISIS

    Source: The New York Times. A 22-year-old Queens man was charged on Tuesday with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, after he flew from New York to Saudi Arabia this spring with the intention, federal prosecutors said, of entering Syria to join the terrorist group. The man, Parveg Ahmed, flew to Saudi Arabia in early June with a friend, the prosecutors said, ostensibly to celebrate the fasting holiday of Ramadan. But according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, the two men actually planned to travel to Syria to fight alongside the Islamic State, or ISIS.

  • Feds hoping to cloak terror trial witness

    Source: Boston Herald. Federal prosecutors want to protect the identity of an FBI informant who is prepared to testify in an upcoming Boston terrorism trial, arguing that the defendant in the case — accused of supporting ISIS — has made threats against the source. The informant is expected to testify against David Daoud Wright, formerly of Everett, who is accused of conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism and obstruction of justice. U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young said that he was not prepared to make any decisions on the issue because he was “blindsided” by prosecutors.

  • Don’t release Uzbek terror suspect pending Denver trial, court says The

    Source: The Denver Post. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a federal judge’s decision to release an Uzbek terror suspect on bond and instead ordered he be detained pending his trial. Jamshid Muhtorov, who has already been held for more than 5 1/2 years, will be detained until his trial in 2018, the appeals court has ruled. The 10th Circuit previously issued a temporary stay of Muhtorov’s release pending a formal review.Senior U.S. District Court Judge John Kane had previously ordered Muhtorov be released on bond with a list of conditions including that he be required to wear an ankle monitor. Muhtorov stands accused of providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union and is being held without bond at the GEO Aurora Detention Center, 3130 N. Oakland St. in Aurora. Muhtorov had sought his release claiming extraordinary trial delays violate his Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

  • He talked about committing a terrorist attack. He’ll go to prison for 10 years.

    Source: The Washington Post. It is a punishment far harsher than Yusuf Wehelie’s actual crime — possession of firearms by a felon — would garner and the maximum allowed by law. Federal guidelines called for a sentence of about three years, and prosecutors initially asked for a punishment within those parameters. There was audible shock in the courtroom when Lee read his sentence and tears from Wehelie’s large family. Defense attorney Nina Ginsberg argued that there was overwhelming evidence that her client posed no real threat.

  • U.S. prosecutors seek to halt pretrial release of Uzbek terror suspect

    Source: Reuters. Federal prosecutors appealed against a U.S. judge’s order on Tuesday allowing the release of Jamshid Muhtorov, who has been held for more than five years while awaiting trial on charges of providing support to a suspected Islamist group in his native Uzbekistan. The motion came four days after U.S. District Judge John Kane granted a motion by Muhtorov for his release pending his trial, which is set for early next year. In agreeing to set bond conditions, Judge Kane said that, while Muhtorov’s purported jihadist views are “abhorrent,” he will have already spent six years in prison by the time he goes on trial, about the same amount of time he would likely serve if convicted. He faces a maximum 15 years in prison if convicted.

  • 2nd guilty plea for man who voiced support for Islamic State

    Source: Associated Press. A Detroit man accused of amassing weapons and expressing support for the Islamic State group has pleaded guilty to a gun crime in a separate case. Sebastian Gregerson pleaded guilty Tuesday to using a straw buyer to purchase a gun at a Chantilly, Virginia, gun show in 2014.