War on Terrorism

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hawaii Soldier Indicted for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS



An indictment was returned July 21 charging Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, an Army sergeant first class stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Kang was previously arrested on July 8, and ordered detained pending further proceedings.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Elliot Enoki of the District of Hawaii and Special Agent in Charge Paul Delacorte of the FBI’s Honolulu Field Office made the announcement.

The grand jury indictment, which was filed on July 19, charged Kang with four counts of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, based on events that occurred in Hawaii between June 21 and July 8. The indictment and an earlier criminal complaint allege that Kang met with undercover agents of the FBI whom he believed to be affiliated with ISIS and provided military information, some of which was classified at the SECRET level. Kang is also charged with providing property (a drone,s military clothing and equipment) and training (instruction on combat techniques and weapons training which was videotaped for future use by ISIS) to undercover agents whom he believed to be affiliated with ISIS.

Kang will appear in court on July 24, for an arraignment and plea on the charges, at which time a trial date will be scheduled.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted of the charges, Kang faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each count. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division. This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Taryn Meeks of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ken Sorenson and Marc Wallenstein.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Alleged ISIS Supporter Indicted for Attempting to Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organization



Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, 22, of Oakland, California, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in San Francisco with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch of the Northern District of California and Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett of the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office.

According to the indictment, Alhaggagi, 22, of Oakland, California, is alleged to have knowingly attempted to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), between July and November of 2016, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B. ISIS is a designated foreign terrorist organization. The indictment alleges that the services Alhaggagi attempted to provide included opening social media accounts for the use, benefit and promotion of ISIS, and that the personnel he provided was himself.

The indictment also alleges three counts of identity theft offenses – two counts of identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A. With respect to those charges, an affidavit previously filed by an agent of the FBI in connection with a criminal complaint in the same matter alleged that Alhaggagi had used a stolen credit card to make $4,932 in fraudulent online purchases from a clothing company.

The FBI arrested Alhaggagi, a U.S. citizen, on Nov. 29, 2016, based on a criminal complaint charging identity theft. Magistrate Judge Kandis Westmore ordered Alhaggagi detained following his arrest based on findings that he presented a flight risk and a danger to the community. The complaint and the previous proceedings against Alhaggagi were unsealed yesterday when the indictment was returned.

Alhaggagi’s arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum total sentence of 47 years on all four counts in the indictment, and a fine of $250,000 for each count. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the Oakland Police Department and the Berkeley Police Department.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Algerian Man Extradited for Conspiring to Provide Material Support to Terrorists Makes Initial Appearance


Ali Charaf Damache, aka “Theblackflag,” 52, of Algeria, made his initial appearance today following extradition from Spain for his involvement in conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Louis D. Lappen of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania made the announcement.

Damache was indicted in 2011 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and one count of attempted identity theft to facilitate an act of international terrorism.

As part of the conspiracy, Damache, his co-defendants Mohammad Hassan Khalid, Colleen R. LaRose, Jamie Paulin Ramirez, and others conspired to provide material support and resources, including logistical support, recruitment services, financial support, identification documents and personnel, to a conspiracy to kill overseas. Damache, Khalid and others devised and coordinated a violent jihad organization consisting of men and women from Europe and the U.S. divided into a planning team, a research team, an action team, a recruitment team and a finance team; some of whom would travel to South Asia for explosives training and return to Europe to wage violent jihad.

Furthermore, Damache, Khalid, LaRose and others recruited men online to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe. In addition, Damache, Khalid, LaRose and others allegedly recruited women who had passports and the ability to travel to and around Europe in support of violent jihad.

This case was investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force in the FBI's New York Field Office, in conjunction with the FBI's Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC Field Offices. Authorities in Ireland and Spain also provided assistance in this matter.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Trial Attorneys Matthew F. Blue and C. Alexandria Bogle of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. The Office of International Affairs in the Justice Department's Criminal Division also provided assistance