Colorado: No charges for 3 Muslim girls who tried to join ISIS and lied to officials

Poor Muslim girls are just the victims of an online predator. via 3 US girls who wanted to join ISIS victims of online predator, say officials.

DENVER: The case of three teenage girls being investigated for trying to join Islamic State militants poses vexing questions for US officials about the use of social media by terror groups to recruit people inside the United States, experts said Wednesday.

A Colorado school official said the Denver area girls – two sisters ages 17 and 15, and a 16-year-old friend – were victims of an online predator who encouraged them to travel overseas and eventually to Syria.

Mia Bloom, a professor of security studies at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, said the girls’ story so far suggests how Islamic extremists have mastered social media to prey on younger and younger women with “Disney-like versions of what it is like to live in the caliphate,” complete with promises of husbands and homes.

At least one of the girls was communicating with someone online who encouraged the three to travel to Syria, said Tustin Amole, a spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District where the girls attend high school.

Fellow high school students told school officials that the girls had been discussing travel plans over Twitter, Amole said.

The girls were detained at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, and sent home over the weekend. They were interviewed by the FBI and returned to their parents in suburban Aurora. Those in the tight-knit east African community where they live said the sisters are of Somali descent and their friend is of Sudanese descent.

“There’s no indication they had been radicalised in a way that they wanted to fight for ISIS,” Amole said.

A US official said evidence gathered so far made it clear that the girls were headed to Syria, though the official said investigators were still trying to determine what sort of contacts they had in that country. Another US official said that investigators were reviewing evidence, including the girls’ computers. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation by name.

“Social media has played a very significant role in the recruitment of young people,” said FBI spokesman Kyle Loven in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali community in the U.S. Authorities there have been concerned about terror recruiting of the young for years.

“What we’ve experienced here in Minneapolis is that young, disaffected youth who exist primarily on the fringes of society – they seem to be more susceptible to this type of propaganda, unfortunately,” Loven said.

Terror recruiting has been a problem for years in Minneapolis. Since 2007, roughly 22 young Somali-Americans have traveled to Somalia to take up arms with al-Shabab, an al-Qaida linked group. Those were all men.

Within the last year, a handful of people from the community left Minnesota to join militant groups in Syria, and this time, there are fears that women might have been targeted. Loven said the FBI is working with the Somali community to establish trust and help identify young people at risk for radicalization.

In Colorado, Amole said the three teens had no prior problems at school, aside from unexcused absences on Friday.

Still unknown is how they managed to get to Frankfurt. [Did anyone ask them? Fact check their stories? Cameras abound.]

The US government doesn’t have any restrictions on children flying alone, domestically or internationally. Airline policies vary. Most US airlines allow children 12 and older to fly alone but often with restrictions on international flights, according to the US Transportation Department.

The girls’ parents reported them missing Friday after they skipped school. They had taken passports and $2,000 in cash from the sisters’ parents’ home.

At some point, the US informed German authorities at the airport about the girls arriving alone on their way to Turkey, German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters Wednesday. She said the three were detained by German police, with approval from a judge, and returned voluntarily to the US on Sunday. [So they skipped school and within hours these families were able to determine they were on their way to Germany, contact authorities, get a judge involved and alert German authorities? But they don't know how they got to the airport? Something is fishy here.]

Once home, the girls told a deputy they went to Germany for “family,” but wouldn’t elaborate. [And officials let them off the hook with that lie? No charges?]

A spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Denver would not say whether prosecutors plan to charge the girls with a crime. State prosecutors said they have no imminent plans to charge the girls. Amole said they will not face discipline

“Our biggest concern is for the safety and well-being of these girls,” Amole said.


Will the Obama administration charge them or are Somali and Sudanese Muslims exempt from federal laws now?

 

North Carolina Muslim pleads guilty to supporting ISIS

via North Carolina man pleads guilty to supporting terrorism charge | CharlotteObserver.com.

A North Carolina man who reportedly tried to aid the Islamic State pleaded guilty Thursday to terrorism-related charges.

Donald Ray Morgan, a 44-year-old resident of Rowan County, N.C., pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Morgan was initially arrested on Aug. 2, 2014, at JFK International Airport in New York City.

donraymorgan

Ripley Rand, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, called the case “a sad reminder that those who wish to aid foreign terrorist organizations can come from any community and from any background.”

Morgan kept up a steady stream of rhetorical support for radical Islam via social media, according to prosecutors.

“Ya Allah!” Morgan Tweeted in May, according to court documents. “Bring strength, courage and victory to our brothers fighting & sacrificing to establish Islamic state.”

A month later, court documents show, Morgan Tweeted a message that began “ISIS is worldwide. We are already in your city.”

“Today’s plea represents our continued commitment to confronting those who attempt to travel abroad to support terrorist organizations,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement.

Morgan had previously been convicted of a weapons offense in 1997. Sentencing will be in February; Morgan faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

Backstory: Brooklyn: Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS arrested at JFK returning from Lebanon

Florida: Head of Islamic school accused of raping middle school girls leaving one needing ‘surgical repair’

And the school covered it up. via Tariq Ahmad accused of raping students and leaving one needing ‘surgical repair’ | Daily Mail Online.

Tariq Ahmad, 35, who worked at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, Florida, has been accused of the sexual abuse and rape of two middle school female pupils

 

Police are hunting the former head teacher of a private Islamic school accused of the sexual abuse and rape of two middle school female students.

Tariq Ahmad, 35, who worked at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, Florida, has been charged with five first degree counts after the alleged abuse which left one student needing ‘substantial surgical repair’.

The girls were aged 14 and 15 when Ahmad allegedly forced them into sexual relationships, according to a lawsuit.

Their attorneys said Ahmed would use text messages, social media and even code on the chalk boards in the classroom to set up meetings with the girls.

They also claim the Academy officials knew of Ahmed’s illegal conduct for years and did nothing until now.

Pembroke Pines police said the alleged incidents occurred between 2006 and 2008, but the pupils only came forward after years of therapy.

In a statement, the school said: ‘Recently, we have become aware of disturbing allegations regarding a former teacher of Nur-ul-Islam Academy.

‘These allegations relate to alleged acts of the teacher six to eight years ago, which did not occur on the school’s premise, concerning at least one former student of the Academy.

‘Upon learning of these allegations, the Academy immediately suspended the teacher’s employment, barred him from any further contact with Academy students and has since terminated his employment with the Academy.

Attorney Scott Mager said: ‘There was significant sexual abuse, intercourse and other inappropriate behaviour such that one of the students had to have substantial surgical repair of that (private) area. It’s horrific.

‘He would use the chalk board to arraign for times and places to meet victims after school,’ said attorney Michael Dolce.

The attorneys claim Nur-Ul-Islam Academy officials knew of Ahmed’s illegal conduct for years and did nothing until now.

‘They knew in 2008. What do they do? Absolutely nothing, expect accuse the kid of doing it. What do they do, they blame, they cover up, they don’t tell the parents,’ said Mr Mager.

Pembroke Pines Police are currently looking for Ahmad who allegedly fled the jurisdiction after he was made aware of his pending charges.

Sergeant Carlos Corretjer said: ‘There is an investigation, it’s still an open case,’ Corretjer said. ‘We’re still trying to locate him.’

The attorneys for the two students are asking anyone who may have information as to where Ahmed might be to contact Pembroke Pines Police immediately.

A LinkedIn profile in Ahmad’s name said he most recently served as the ‘head of high school’ at the academy, where he started working in August 2006.

 

Iowa: Muslim fugitive sought by federal law enforcement

via Fugitives being sought by federal law enforcement | KIMT 3.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Federal authorities are asking for the public’s help in tracking down two fugitives.

33-year-old Mohammad Al Sharairei and 35-year-old Melissa Al Sharairei, also known as Melissa Schermerhorn, are charged with maintaining a premises for the distribution of controlled substance analogues, money laundering and conducting an illegal gambling business. According to court documents, the premises in question was the Puff N Stuff II store in Cedar Rapids. They were indicted in June 2014.

After officially expressing an intent to plead guilty, the married couple failed to appear for federal court in Cedar Rapids on October 20.  Federal warrants have now been issued for their arrest.

The Al Sharaireis were last known to live in Pueblo, Colorado.  Anyone with any information on their whereabouts is asked to call the United States Marshals Service at (319) 362-4411.

 More: Mohammad and Melissa Al Sharairei set to plead guilty

The couple is accused of submitting a cashier’s check for $96,186 to Midland Escrow, property derived from a specified unlawful activity — distribution of controlled substance analogues or synthetic drugs on May 30, 2013, according to the information filed Friday in U.S. District Court.

In the other count, the couple is accused of conducting, financing, managing and owning all or part of an illegal gambling business from Feb. 5 through September 2013, which involved video slot-type machines that are a violation of state law, according to the information. The business involved five or more people who conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned all or part of the gambling operation.

There is also a forfeiture allegation for any property derived from and any proceeds obtained from operating the Puff N Stuff, according to the information. The property to be forfeited includes a money judgment of $425,000 and any proceeds or property from the couple’s business.

The Al Sharaireis previously lost four properties, one house in Cedar Rapids and three houses in Des Moines, two months ago in a default civil judgment. The civil forfeiture claimed the purchase of the real properties represent property traceable to the sale of controlled substance analogues, represent the proceeds of the sale of controlled substance analogues, facilitate the sale of controlled substance analogues and represents property involved in money laundering.

Muslim Extradited to New York, Planned Terror Training Camp in Oregon

 Like the deadly ebola virus, Obama has imported a growing list of foreign jihadists to U.S. prisons…where they can preach and recruit. via FBI — Haroon Aswat Extradited from the United Kingdom to the Southern District of New York to Face Terrorism Charges.

…(“FBI”), and … (“NYPD”), announced the extradition of HAROON ASWAT from the United Kingdom to face charges of conspiring to provide and providing material support to al Qaeda and terrorists for attempting to establish a terrorist training camp in the United States.

ASWAT was arrested in Zambia in July 2005, and in August 2005, ASWAT was deported from Zambia to the United Kingdom, where he was arrested pursuant to a provisional warrant that was issued in response to a request by the U.S. Government in connection with this case. On September 4, 2014, the United Kingdom ordered ASWAT extradited to the United States on the charges described below. In coordination with British authorities, ASWAT was extradited from the United Kingdom to the Southern District of New York on October 21, 2014. ASWAT will make his first court appearance later today before U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest.

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment, statements made at related court proceedings, and evidence presented at prior trials:

In late 1999, ASWAT, along with co-defendants Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, a/k/a “Abu Hamza” (“Abu Hamza”), Ouassama Kassir, and Earnest James Ujaama, attempted to create a terrorist training camp in the United States to support al Qaeda, which has been designated by the United States Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organization. ASWAT conspired with Abu Hamza, Kassir, and Ujaama to establish the terrorist training camp on a rural parcel of property located in Bly, Oregon. The purpose of the Bly, Oregon camp was for Muslims to receive various types of training – including military-style jihad training – in preparation to fight jihad in Afghanistan. As used by the conspirators in this case, the term “jihad” meant defending Islam against purported enemies through violence and armed aggression, including, if necessary, by using murder to expel non-believers from Muslim holy lands.

In a letter faxed from Ujaama, in the United States, to Abu Hamza, in the United Kingdom, the property in Bly was described as a place that “looks just like Afghanistan,” and the letter noted that the men at Bly were “stock-piling weapons and ammunition.” In late 1999, after transmission of the faxed letter, Abu Hamza directed ASWAT and Kassir, both of whom resided in London, England, and attended Abu Hamza’s mosque there, to travel to Oregon to assist in establishing the camp. On November 26, 1999, ASWAT and Kassir arrived in New York, and then traveled to Bly.

ASWAT and Kassir traveled to Bly for the purpose of training men to fight jihad. Kassir told witnesses that he supported Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and that he had previously received jihad training in Pakistan. Kassir also possessed a compact disc that contained instructions on how to make bombs and poisons. After leaving Bly, ASWAT and Kassir traveled to Seattle, Washington, where they resided at a mosque for approximately two months. While in Seattle, Kassir, in ASWAT’s presence, provided men from the mosque with additional terrorist training lessons – including instructions on different types of weapons, how to construct a homemade silencer for a firearm, how to assemble and disassemble an AK-47, and how an AK-47 could be altered to be fully automatic and to launch a grenade. On another occasion, with ASWAT sitting by his side, Kassir announced to the men in Seattle that he had come to the United States for martyrdom and to destroy, and he informed his audience that some of them could die or get hurt.

In September 2002, special agents from the FBI recovered a ledger, among other items, from an al Qaeda safe house in Karachi, Pakistan. The ledger listed a number of individuals associated with al Qaeda, including ASWAT. The al Qaeda safe house was used by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al Qaeda’s chief operational planner and the alleged planner of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The Indictment charges ASWAT, 40, a British citizen, with four offenses that carry the following maximum penalties:

Charge Statutory Violation Maximum Prison Term

Conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists 18 U.S.C. § 371 Five years

Providing material support to terrorists 18 U.S.C. §§ 2339A, 2 10 years

Conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda) 18 U.S.C. §2339B 10 years

Providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda)

18 U.S.C. §§ 2339B, 2 10 years

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

 

Ohio: 8 years for Muslim fraudster, arsonist, illegal alien trafficker

via Ex-owner of local IHOPs gets prison term – Toledo Blade.

Though he had faced up to 40 years behind bars, the former owner of seven IHOP restaurants in northwest Ohio and Indiana was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison.

Tarek Elkafrawi, 57, of Middleton Township near Perrysburg pleaded guilty July 3 to 53 counts contained in a federal indictment charging him with a series of criminal schemes between 2003 and 2012 intended to defraud the government, corporate IHOP, an insurance company, and his own employees of millions of dollars.

He admitted to hiring in excess of 200 undocumented workers, giving some of them multiple identities so that they could work extra hours without being paid overtime and could make claims for Medicaid and other public assistance.

“This is not just a case involving the hiring of illegal aliens,” Duncan Brown, an assistant U.S. Attorney, told the court. “The hiring of illegal aliens was the base of the pyramid that led to a tip of money laundering.”

In between, Mr. Brown contended, were “deliberate and knowing” acts of identity fraud, identity theft, mail fraud, health-care fraud, and arson. Elkafrawi directed his managers to manipulate sales figures, salaries, and payroll to avoid paying taxes and lessen workers’ compensation premiums — all done for personal gain.

U.S. District Court Judge David Katz ordered that Elkafrawi pay $1.36 million to Farmers Insurance for the fraudulent insurance claims paid after the fire as well as $5,042 to the Findlay Fire Department for extinguishing the blaze.

He also ordered a forfeiture of property, including proceeds from the sale of the seven restaurants, cash, and vehicles.

During the lengthy sentencing hearing, two physicians who treat Elkafrawi testified by telephone that their patient suffered from severe heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other issues that could be exacerbated by stress such as prison could present.

“I don’t want to sound callous but the Bureau of Prisons will provide better care than he provided to many of his employees,” Mr. Brown told the court.

Judge Katz noted that Elkafrawi had no criminal history, that he suffered from serious health issues, and that he had sustained considerable financial losses in the aftermath of the raids on his restaurants in 2011 and the subsequent indictments in 2012. Still, he said, a prison sentence was appropriate.

“I believe one of the important messages that can be sent is that the hiring and exploitation of undocumented aliens and money laundering will not be tolerated,” Judge Katz said.

Sixteen co-defendants have entered guilty pleas in the case, including Elkafrawi’s wife, Kelly Elkafrawi, 51, who was sentenced last week to two years of probation. She pleaded guilty July 3 to one count each of money laundering and alien harboring.

While she was considered a minor player in the conspiracy, her husband was labeled “the mastermind” by FBI Special Agent Phillip Dieble, who took the stand to outline Elkafrawi’s crimes before the sentence was imposed.

Noting that he had not violated the terms of his bond for the past 22 months, Judge Katz permitted Elkafrawi to remain on house arrest until he is ordered to begin serving his prison sentence.

 

Oakland: Seven arrested in raid on Black Muslim Temple

via Seven arrested in raid on Black Muslim Temple in Oakland – San Jose Mercury News. h/t Europe News

OAKLAND — In sweeping charges alleging public contract fraud, forged real estate deals and identity theft stretching from Alameda to Orange counties, authorities on Tuesday arrested a Black Muslim minister, his mother and five others, saying they ran a wide-ranging scam through a private security firm that falsely claimed its guards were retired Navy SEALs and its leader a former FBI agent.

Months after this newspaper first uncovered that BMT International Security Services submitted bogus bid documents to the Port of Oakland and other agencies while seeking — and sometimes winning — millions of dollars in public contracts, police made simultaneous early morning raids in Oakland and Contra Costa County, arresting the minister, Dahood Sharieff Bey, 42, his mother, Rory Parker, 63, and others on 44 felony counts.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said Tuesday the group led “an organized and sophisticated criminal enterprise conducting an extraordinary variety of fraudulent activities.” The charges, detailed in a 118-page affidavit, allege the firm faked insurance and state license documents and made fanciful claims of expertise it did not possess.

Bey, a disciple of the late Your Black Muslim Bakery leader Yusuf Bey, to whom he was not related, posed as a former FBI agent named David Johnson, claiming at various times to be a graduate of Harvard, Princeton and Golden Gate universities and a “military marshal.” He boasted in one bid to have supplied security services to Disneyland.

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Heavily armed police swarmed Bey’s temple on Oakland’s 27th Street at dawn Tuesday as a helicopter hovered overhead and flash-bang grenades exploded to roust anyone inside.

O’Malley said the charges involved “not only large-scale bid fraud victimizing local communities and cities and counties around the state, but also real estate fraud, insurance fraud, bankruptcy fraud, income tax evasion and the exploitation of workers by evading workers’ compensation insurance and payroll taxes.”


Flashback:

Oakland: Survivor recounts life of rape, abuse by ‘Your Black Muslim Bakery’ leader

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