BROWNSBURG, Ind. – FBI agents raided the home of a Brownsburg man Tuesday accused of attempting to provide aid to the Islamic State.
The raid was conducted at the residence of 18-year-old Akram Musleh at the Brownsburg Pointe Apartments.
According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, Musleh is a U.S.-born citizen who attended Brownsburg High School.
The FBI alleges Musleh booked or attempted to book several one-way flights to Iraq and Turkey, but never completed the flights. They also allege communications intercepted from Musleh indicated he was attempting to travel to the Middle East to join the Islamic State.
In addition to trying to travel to the Middle East, the FBI alleges Musleh “conducted extensive internet searches on explosive materials, including: dynamite, flash powder, explosive precursors, instructions on constructing explosive devices and explosive chemical recipes.” An agent conducting surveillance on Musleh reportedly observed him shopping for pressure cookers at the Brownsburg Walmart.
The criminal complaint includes a number of alleged conversations between Musleh and an unidentified person in which Musleh expresses his desire to be in an Islamic State propaganda video. The two also allegedly discussed the possibility of Musleh attacking a “drone place.”
FBI agents obtained a court order in May to search Musleh’s phone. Investigators reportedly recovered files related to jihad, martyrdom and the Islamic State on the device. The phone also contained several audio files of lectures by Anwar Al-Awlaki – a Yemeni-American imam accused of being a senior recruiter and planner for al-Qaeda.
On June 3, the FBI says Musleh booked a one-way ticket to Casablanca, Morocco, on July 21 from New York City. Agents arrested Musleh Tuesday as he was boarding a Greyhound bus in Indianapolis.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday it had filed federal charges against Musleh of providing material support to the Islamic State.
Musleh could potentially face 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
More via ABC, Researched Homeland Terror Targets
Musleh searched online for information about potential terror targets in Indiana, explosive materials and pressure cookers. An FBI agent followed him in early May to a local Walmart where the complaint says Musleh appeared to “shop for pressure cookers, but left without making a purchase.” Pressure cookers have been used to house explosive devices, such as the twin bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon in April 2013.
The FBI apparently first came across Musleh back in August 2013 when he posted videos on YouTube of the late American al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a man who is thought to have at least partly inspired a growing number of homegrown jihadists. Officials at Musleh’s high school, “in coordination with the FBI, took steps to dissuade Musleh [from] engaging in radical extremism.”
Apparently, it didn’t take. In September 2014, Musleh purportedly bought a black flag often associated with ISIS online and a few months later posed for photos in front of it. In several online conversations apparently monitored by investigators, Musleh discusses with ISIS sympathizers — and at least one FBI “confidential human source” — his desire to join ISIS and in one part says he pledged his allegiance to the terror group, according to the complaint.
h/t Jawa Report who notes, FBI Moves Against Indianapolis Terrorist:
Irony: He is also a fan of Barack Obama.
Obama Won, Ya Boi
— Akram Musleh (@Jordan_beast23) November 7, 2012