Saturday 3 December 2016

Two California men convicted of plotting to support Islamic State

Published 21/06/2016 | 22:18

Both men were arrested when one tried to board a commercial airliner at Los Angeles International Airport for a flight to Turkey
Both men were arrested when one tried to board a commercial airliner at Los Angeles International Airport for a flight to Turkey

Two men from Anaheim, California, were found guilty on Tuesday of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants, and one of them had attempted to travel to the Middle East to join the extremist group, federal prosecutors said.

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A federal court jury in Orange County, south of Los Angeles, returned the guilty verdicts against Nader Elhuzayel and Muhanad Badawi, both 25, after deliberating for just over an hour, capping a two-week trial, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

In addition to convictions on charges of plotting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, Elhuzayel was found guilty of actually attempting to provide such support and Badawi was found guilty of aiding and abetting those attempts.

Moreover, the jury convicted Elhuzayel on 26 counts of bank fraud, and Badawi on a single count of financial aid fraud stemming from their plot to support Islamic State, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Both men were arrested on May 21, 2005, when Elhuzayel tried to board a commercial airliner at Los Angeles International Airport for a flight to Turkey, prosecutors said. Elhuzayel's one-way ticket to Israel, with a stop in Istanbul, had been purchased by Badawi, authorities said.

According to court documents, Elhuzayel previously appeared in a video shot by his co-defendant in which he swore allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and pledged to travel to Syria to become a fighter for the militant group.

Reuters

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