While ISIS is under attack in Iraq and Syria its supporters continue planning attacks across the United States and Western Europe.
Erick Jamal Hendricks, from North Carolina, was arrestedon August 4th, 2016 on charges of attempting to recruit people for terrorist attacks in the U.S. in support of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL). One of Hendricks’ alleged contacts was a gunman in the 2015 thwarted attack on an exhibition of Mohammed caricatures in Texas.
The Justice Department says Hendricks, who was caught by an undercover FBI informant, was using social media to recruit people. He also allegedly mentioned to a prospective recruit a desire to create a sleeper cell for later attacks in the U.S.
Nicholas Young, a DC Metro cop since 2003, was arrested on August 3rd, 2016 for supplying materials to ISIS. Young, who was on the FBI’s radar since 2010, allegedly met several times with Amine El Khalifi before Khalifi was arrested in 2012 for plotting to carry out a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol building.
Later, in 2014, Young began meeting with an informant who convinced Young to travel overseas to join ISIS in Syria, according to the FBI. The FBI was able to begin communicating directly with Young electronically, posing as the informant after Young believed the informant had made it to Syria.
The core charge of material support came from Young allegedly buying gift cards to support ISIS through mobile messaging accounts. He sent the gift card codes to the informant in late July.
Gregory Hubbard, Darren Jackson, and Dayne Christian, all from Florida, were arrested on July 22nd, 2016 charges of conspiring and attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS. According to the complaint, Hubbard first told the FBI informant he was considering joining ISIS on April 11th, 2015.
The two met regularly over the course of the next few months discussing recent terrorist attacks and listening to sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki. Jackson and Christian soon joined to provide guns, ammunition and training as Hubbard prepared to join ISIS. With help from the FBI informant, Hubbard planned his travel to Syria and was arrested after checking in to his flight from Miami. Jackson and Christian were arrested elsewhere.
Akram Musleh, 18, from Indiana was arrested on federal terrorism charges on June 21st, 2016. Court documents show Musleh, a high school student, had made several unsuccessful attempts to join ISIS in Syria. He is known to have done online research regarding the manufacturing of explosives in May of 2016.
Musleh, like many ISIS recruits, used social media to express his affiliation with ISIS. Social media is also the medium through which the FBI initiated and continued contact with Musleh, during which potential routes to ISIS were discussed and propaganda shared.
New York City
Sajmir Alimehmeti a 22-year old from New York City was arrested on May 24th, 2016 for allegedly supporting ISIS. According to a criminal complaint filed by the Department of Justice, Alimehmeti tried to join ISIS twice back in 2014, but both times he was stopped.
What ended up getting Alimehmeti arrested, however, was his trying to help someone whom he believed was an ISIS recruit get to Syria. This supposed recruit was actually an undercover federal agent. Like many other Americans who have been arrested for attempting to join and assist ISIS, Alimehmeti was caught by a federal sting operation.