Thursday, December 22, 2016

Virginia Man Charged With Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIL

Lionel Nelson Williams, 26, of Suffolk, Virginia was charged today with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Williams was arrested yesterday in Suffolk.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia and Special Agent in Charge Martin W. Culbreth of the FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia Field Office made the announcement.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, in October and November 2016, Williams sent money to a person he believed was collecting money for ISIL to purchase weapons and ammunition for ISIL fighters. Williams also posted content on social media indicating his support for ISIL and attacks targeting police officers, military and armed civilians. In addition, the investigation revealed that Williams ordered an AK-47 assault rifle the day after the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. Two firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle consistent with the appearance of an AK-47, were recovered in a post-arrest search of Williams’ residence.

Williams faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was investigated by the Norfolk Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Suffolk Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Andrew C. Bosse for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Alicia Cook of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Defendant Sentenced to 88 Months in Prison for Providing Material Support to Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan

Irfan Demirtas, 58, a dual Dutch-Turkish citizen, was sentenced today to 88 months in prison after earlier pleading guilty to providing material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The sentencing was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Demirtas pleaded guilty on Sept. 15, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plea agreement called for Demirtas to be removed from the U.S. upon completion of his prison term. The defendant was sentenced by the Honorable Randolph D. Moss. The sentence accounts for 62 months’ credit for time served in France.

On Dec. 8, 2011, Demirtas was charged in a sealed four-count indictment for conduct occurring from at least January 2006 through May 2008, when Demirtas was a resident of the Netherlands and acted as an IMU fundraiser and facilitator. In January 2015, Demirtas was arrested in Germany based on an Interpol red notice that had been issued on these charges. He was detained and then extradited to the U.S. on July 17, 2015.

According to the government’s evidence, the IMU is a militant Islamic group which was formed in 1991 with the stated purpose to overthrow the government of Uzbekistan and to create an Islamic state under Sharia law. The IMU has conducted military operations in Uzbekistan and Pakistan and participated in combat operations against coalition forces in Afghanistan. The IMU was designated by the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on Sept. 25, 2001.

Between January 2006 and May 2008, according to the government’s evidence, Demirtas acted on the IMU’s behalf in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Jordan, the Netherlands, France and elsewhere outside the U.S. During this period, he provided, attempted to provide and conspired to provide personnel and funding to the IMU, knowing that it is a designated terrorist organization that has engaged and engages in terrorism. Specifically, Demirtas admitted in his plea to providing funds to the leader of the IMU.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael C. DiLorenzo and Ari B. Redbord of the District of Columbia, and Trial Attorney Brian K. Morgan of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Assistance was provided by the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

New URL for DHS Newsletter

The Siren, a first responders' newsletter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has a new address on the Web. The latest issue, September/October 2016, and previous issues can now be found at The newsletter is published by the DHS Science & Technology Directorate First Responders Group, and features recent FRG highlights and accomplishments.