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Ohio man pleads guilty to trying to join ISIS

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)

A Southwest Ohio man accused of trying to travel to Afghanistan in order to join the terrorist group ISIS has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Prosecutors with the Southern District of Ohio say Naser Almadaoji, 22, of Beavercreek, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of attempting to provide material support — himself, as personnel — to foreign terrorist organizations, specifically ISIS Wilayat Khorasan (ISIS-K).

“This is now the second person from the Dayton area held accountable in recent times for trying to join ISIS,” acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel said in a statement. “Whatever grievances might exist with our government, our country, or our way of life, violence is not the answer.”

Almadaoji bought a plane ticket on Oct. 24, 2018, in attempt to travel to Afghanistan. He was arrested after checking in and obtaining his boarding pass, prosecutors say.

Almadaoji told an individual posing as an ISIS supporter online about his proposed plot to start a conflict in the United States between the federal government and anti-government militias. Prosecutors say he asked for a guide on how to make a car bomb.

In August 2018, Almadaoji told the purported ISIS supporter that he was “always willing” to assist with “projects” in the U.S., according to prosecutors. Almadaoji recorded and sent a video of himself wearing a headscarf and pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS.

He reportedly planned to travel to Astana, Kazahkstan, then get smuggled into Afghanistan so that he could join and receive military training from ISIS-K. Prosecutors say Almadaoji said he wanted “weapons experts training, planning and executing, hit and run, capturing high-value targets, ways to break into homes and avoid security guards. That type of training.”

Almadaoji had traveled to Egypt and Jordan in February 2018 hoping to join an ISIS affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS Wilayat Sinai, but he was unsuccessful, prosecutors say.

In addition, Almadaoji translated a purported ISIS document from Arabic to English and he told his contact— whom Almadaoji believed to be part of ISIS —”Don’t thank me … it’s my duty.”


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