Haris Qamar, a Burke, Virginia man, was arrested and charged on Friday for attempting to provide support for ISIS. Qamar, 25, took pictures of D.C. and Arlington, VA landmarks for their use in an ISIS video and also ran 60 different pro-ISIS Twitter accounts.
He attempted to join ISIS in 2014, but was unable to leave the country after his father confiscated his passport. Instead, it appears as though he took his work stateside and attempted to encourage others to commit attacks in the D.C. area. According to the Dept. of Justice, Qamar expressed admiration for suicide bombers and wanted to "slaughter" someone.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Haris Qamar, 25, of Burke, was arrested this morning on charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Qamar is scheduled to have his initial appearance today in front of Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson at 2 p.m. at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on May 26, Qamar and FBI confidential witness (CW) discussed ISIL’s need of photos of possible targets in and around Washington, D.C., for use in a video that ISIL was purportedly making to encourage lone wolf attacks in the Washington, D.C., area. Qamar allegedly offered CW ideas of where to take these photographs, including the Pentagon and numerous landmarks in Arlington and Washington, D.C., which could be targeted for terrorist attacks. On June 3, a conversation was audio and video recorded when CW picked up Qamar in a vehicle and they drove to area landmarks on the list Qamar had developed. Qamar allegedly said “bye bye DC, stupid ass kufar, kill’em all”. Qamar and CW met again on June 10 and drove to a location in Arlington to take additional photos for the ISIL video.
The FBI first learned of Qamar as he operated over 60 variations of the Twitter handle “newerajihadi”, which Qamar used to express his support of ISIL and share videos and photos of extreme violence, including beheadings and mass shootings. For example, after terrorists murdered employees of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in January 2015, Qamar tweeted his prayer for another similar attack with even more casualties.
Qamar faces up to 20 years in prison for his support of ISIS.