A criminal complaint has been unsealed in the Southern District of Texas following the arrest of a Spring, Texas, man on allegations he conspired to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Division made the announcement.
Asher Abid Khan, 20, was taken into custody this morning without incident. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances H. Stacy of the Southern District of Texas today.
The criminal complaint alleges that Khan and a friend devised a plan to travel to Turkey and on to Syria for the purpose of joining and waging jihad on behalf of ISIL. Khan had allegedly asked a Turkish-based foreign terrorist fighter facilitator that “I wana join ISIS can you help?” He also told someone else that “I wana die as a Shaheed [martyr],” according to the allegations.
Khan’s friend allegedly made it to Syria and ISIL with the assistance of Khan and the foreign terrorist fighter facilitator. Khan had been living in Australia with a relative and made it to Istanbul, Turkey, where he was to meet up with his friend in their quest to join ISIL, according to the complaint. However, Khan’s family sent him false information regarding his mother’s health and he was deceived into returning home to Texas.
If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in federal prison. A conviction also carries a possible $250,000 fine.
A complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and Alamdar Hamdani of the Southern District of Texas, as well as Trial Attorneys Josh Parecki and Keith Parrella of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.