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Houston man charged with trying to aid ISIS, sharing bomb-making plans

December 12, 2017

An 18-year-old Houston man was charged Monday with distributing bomb-making instructions and trying to support the Islamic State group, the Justice Department said.

Authorities arrested Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya, a U.S. citizen, on Friday in Houston after filing a sealed criminal complaint. The complaint was unsealed Monday, when Damlarkaya appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge, the Justice Department said in a statement.

The charges followed an investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force alleging that he discussed his plans earlier this year online with undercover agents and others to fight with ISIS overseas or, if he couldn’t, to commit an attack stateside, the statement said.

Damlarkaya also provided a formula to purported ISIS supporters for the explosive triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, with instructions on how to use it in a pressure cooker packed with shrapnel, according to the charges.

“Damlarkaya asked if he could provide a farewell video to be published should he follow through with an attack resulting in his death, in order to inspire others,” the Justice Department said.

The explosive, also known as the “mother of Satan,” has been used to deadly effect by ISIS extremists in several attacks carried out in the West.

It was reported to have been used in the bombing at Manchester Arena in England in May, as well as in the November 2015 attacks in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels. The combined death toll from those attacks was nearly 200, with several hundred wounded.

Damlarkaya also provided instructions on how to build an AK-47 or AR-15 assault rifle from readily available parts to avoid detection by authorities, and he discussed the use of a machete or samurai sword as an alternative to a gun or explosives, the criminal complaint alleged.

He claimed to carry a knife in case he was stopped by police and slept with a machete under his pillow in case his house was raided, the charges said.

“If I buy a gun or supplies for a bomb they … will heat up pressure just like a few months ago when I was trying an operation but they found out,” Damlarkaya said last month, apparently alluding to law enforcement authorities, court documents said.

The criminal complaint said he claimed to have tried but failed to get to Syria on two previous occasions.

If convicted of unlawfully distributing explosives information or attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, he faces up to 20 years in prison, the Justice Department said.

Damlarkaya is being held pending a detention hearing set for Thursday.


© 2017 the Stars and Stripes

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