The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that a naturalized U.S. citizen has been returned to Minnesota to serve time after pleading guilty to providing support to ISIS.
Abdelhamid Al-Madioum, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of providing material support and resources to ISIS. Al-Madioum had been detained by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) overseas and subsequently transferred into FBI custody.
The former ISIS soldier, a Morocco native and naturalized U.S. citizen, traveled from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, to Casablanca, Morocco, to visit extended family before traveling to Turkey and connecting with ISIS members. There, ISIS helped Al-Madioum cross the border into Syrian where he later joined other members of ISIS who brought him to Mosul, Iraq, according to the defendant's guilty plea.
Al-Madioum pleaded guilty to receiving military training from ISIS and becoming a soldier for the terrorist organization. He was assigned as a soldier to the Tariq Bin-Ziyad Battalion of the Abu Mutaz al-Qurashi Divison of ISIS until Al-Madioum was injured in 2016 conducting military activities on behalf of the group. He received a stipend from the terrorist organization until his surrender to SDF in Mar. 2019 in Baghouz, Syria.
Al-Madioum was returned to Minnesota in Sep. 2020, and he is currently awaiting a sentencing date following his guilty plea.
In Nov. 2020, a South Carolina man, 34-year-old Kristopher Sean Matthews (aka Ali JIbreel) was arrested after being accused along with another man of conspiring to carry out a terrorist attack on Trump Tower, the White House and other high-profile targets.
Days before, the Justice Department announced a five-charge indictment against a Portland man, 31-year-old Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, including two counts of conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS, one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, and one count of making false statements on his immigration application. Mothafar allegedly maintained contact with ISIS officials overseas and helped those individuals open social media profiles and email accounts for official use.
A 27-year-old woman living in Long Island, New York was sentenced to 13 years in prison in Mar. 2020 after pleading guilty to providing material support to the terrorist group. According to court documents, Zoobia Shahnaz defrauded a number of financial institutions and then transferred the funds to several ISIS-related fronts.
In Oct. 2019, President Trump ordered the U.S. strike that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who had been at the helm of the terrorist organization since 2014. In that year, ISIS declared itself a worldwide caliphate and claimed authority over the entire Muslim world. An international coalition led by the United States targeted ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and Russia intervened in Syria against ISIS the following year. In December 2017, it was reported that ISIS had lost 98 percent of the territories it once held.