Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Jordanian Arrested in US before Traveling to Join ISIS | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55372786

ISIS jihadists carry their weapons during a parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Yaser Al-Khodor

Washington- US police arrested Jordanian citizen Laith Alebbini and referred him to trial on Thursday at Dayton’s court in Ohio as part of a series of arrests of Muslims on charges of joining ISIS or attempting to travel and fight alongside jihadists.

According to the official complaint filed in US District Court, Alebbini, 26, was taken into custody by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The FBI said they learned Alebbini had purchased his tickets on Monday. He was arrested on Wednesday before he entered the TSA security lines at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Alebbini, who resided in Dayton, was first arrested in January for unlawful entry into the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC.

The charges were dismissed, but according to the complaint, Alebbini told law enforcement officials “you are going to regret this” when being escorted from the property.

Two days afterward, he traveled to Turkey but was denied entry because his passport had expired.

New York Daily News said Friday that Alebbini raised doubts about him because he traveled from Ohio to Washington to get a visa to enter Turkey.

The newspaper said that Alebbini is in the US legally on permanent resident status, and most recently had been living in Dayton.

He remained in custody Thursday on charges that he attempted to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

In an interrogation session with the FBI in January regarding his alleged break-in to the Turkish embassy, Alebbini admitted to posting pro-ISIS videos on his social media page, and claimed he was the “perfect recruiter for ISIS,” but said he did not agree with their violence.

In 2016, Muhanad Mahmoud al Farekh, 29, US citizen of Jordanian origin, was detained in Pakistan and secretly flown to New York to face federal terrorism charges.

Farekh was in Texas but has moved with his family at a young age to Jordan, where he also has citizenship. He also attended school in Canada.

Farekh, also known as Abdullah al-Shami, was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

He and two other associates were studying at the University of Manitoba when, around 2007, they sold their belongings and left Winnipeg.

They then traveled to Pakistan to link up with militants and fight against American forces, according to a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York.

The three called a friend in Canada when they arrived and told him they intended to become “martyrs,” the complaint said.

Over the next several years, Farekh rose through al-Qaeda’s ranks, later coming to the attention of US intelligence officials. By 2013, he had been nominated by the Pentagon to a “kill list” of suspected terrorists.