In a criminal complaint unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia today, Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 26, of Alexandria, Virginia, was charged with providing and conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The complaint was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Khweis was detained by Kurdish Peshmerga military forces on March 14, 2016 in northern Iraq after leaving an ISIL-controlled neighborhood in Tal Afar, Iraq. According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Khweis admitted to renting a car in Alexandria and flying out of Baltimore-Washington International Airport to begin his travel to join ISIL in mid-December 2015. His travel included stops in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before ultimately crossing into Syria through Turkey with the help of ISIL facilitators. Khweis admitted that he stayed in an ISIL safe house in Raqqa, Syria, with other ISIL recruits who were going through an intake process, and at one point during the intake process, answered yes when asked by ISIL if he would be a suicide bomber. Khweis also admitted to participating in ISIL-directed religious training for nearly one month in preparation for his service to ISIL.
Khweis will have his initial appearance at the federal courthouse in Alexandria today at 2 p.m. EDT before U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson of the Eastern District of Virginia.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Fitzpatrick of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Raj Parekh of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.