Iraqi Refugee Sentenced in Houston For Helping ISIS

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 11:40 AM
Iraqi Refugee Sentenced in Houston For Helping ISIS

An Iraqi refugee who came to the United States in 2009 has been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for aiding ISIS. Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan pleaded guilty in 2016 to attempting to provide material support to the terrorist organization. 

“Any person who provides material support to a foreign terrorist organization will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez released in a statement. “Al Hardan’s actions were treacherous and completely antithetical to the freedoms we as U.S. citizens value. The sentence imposed today reflects the Department of Justice’s resolve to seek out and punish all violators who would give aid and comfort to international terrorists.”

According to court documents, Al Hardan pledged his allegiance to ISIS in 2014 and participated in weapons training with an AK-47. 

"Upon his arrest in January 2016, investigators discovered training CDs on how to build remote detonators, electronic circuitry components, tools used to build circuitry, multiple cell phones (that had not been activated), a prayer list for committing Jihad and becoming a martyr and the ISIL flag," the Department of Justice detailed. 

Upon release in 2033, Al Hardan will finish his life on supervised release. 

According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, federal agents are currently investigating 1000 ISIS related cases in all 50 states across the country. 

"Currently, the FBI views the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”) and homegrown violent extremists as the main terrorism threats to the United States. ISIS is relentless and ruthless in its campaign of violence and has aggressively promoted its hateful message, attracting like-minded violent extremists. The threats posed by ISIS foreign terrorist fighters, including those recruited from the U.S., are extremely dynamic. These threats remain the highest priority and create the most serious challenges for the FBI, the U.S. Intelligence Community, and our foreign, State, and local partners," Wray said during recent Congressional testimony. "We continue to identify individuals who seek to join the ranks of foreign fighters traveling in support of ISIS, as well as homegrown violent extremists who may aspire to attack the United States from within. In addition, we are working to expose, refute and combat terrorist propaganda and training available via the Internet and social media networks."

President Trump's original travel ban included Iraq, which has since been taken off the list.