nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Hubbard (S.D. Fla. July 22, 2016) (charges in ISIL material support case)

July 22, 2016

See the attached complaint. Press release details below:

WASHINGTON – Three Palm Beach County, Florida, residents were charged with conspiring and attempting to support the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) made the announcement.

Gregory Hubbard, aka Jibreel, 52, of West Palm Beach, Florida; Darren Arness Jackson, aka Daoud, 50, also of West Palm Beach; and Dayne Atani Christian, aka Shakur, 31, of Lake Park, Florida, were charged by a criminal complaint with knowingly conspiring and attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIL. Christian was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The detention hearing will take place on July 27, 2016, and the defendants will be arraigned on Aug. 5, 2016.

“According to the complaint, these defendants conspired and attempted to provide material support to ISIL and one of the defendants was arrested attempting to travel overseas to join and fight for the deadly terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who conspire and attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“Individuals seeking to travel and take up arms with ISIL pose a threat to the United States and humanity across the globe,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force continue to work proactively in order to stifle and disrupt any potential danger posed by the terrorist organizations and their supporters.”

“Terrorism-related arrests such as this serve to remind us of the importance of being vigilant,” said Special Agent in Charge Piro. “When you see something that doesn’t seem right, report it to law enforcement. Fighting terrorism is the FBI’s number one priority. Any information that can put us on the trail of individuals intent on terrorist acts is valuable.”

According to the allegations contained in the complaint, Hubbard expressed support for ISIL and told an FBI confidential human source (CHS) that he wanted to travel to Syria and join ISIL for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad. Hubbard introduced the CHS to Christian and Jackson, both of whom provided weapons and firearms instruction to Hubbard and the CHS, whom they understood were preparing to travel overseas to join and fight for ISIL.

The complaint further alleges that Jackson and Christian also expressed a desire to join ISIL. Hubbard purchased an airplane ticket to Germany, where he planned to board a train to Turkey and then head to Syria. Hubbard was arrested on July 21, 2016, at Miami International Airport prior to the first leg of his overseas trip. Jackson, who had driven Hubbard to the airport, was arrested after he left the airport premises. Christian was arrested at his place of work.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the material support charge. Christian faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted on the charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI and JTTF investigated the case with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Transportation Security Administration; Miami International Airport Police Department; Boca Raton, Florida, Police Department; Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office; and City of West Palm Beach Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen E. Gilbert, Brian K. Frazier and Edward C. Nucci and Trial Attorneys Larry Schneider and David Cora of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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Final Criminal Complaint.pdf


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Farrokh (E.D.Va. July 15, 2016) (sentence in ISIL attempted material support prosecution)

July 18, 2016

From last Friday:

WASHINGTON – Joseph Hassan Farrokh, 29, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was sentenced today to 102 months in prison for attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement

“With this sentence, Joseph Hassan Farrokh will be held accountable for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the designated terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“Farrokh’s state of mind and conduct in this case were egregious and go to the heart of the safety of our community and the nation,” said U.S. Attorney Boente. “This office will continue to pursue those that travel to fight against the United States and our allies, as well as those individuals that recruit others on behalf of ISIL in the homeland.”

“Joseph Farrokh admitted to attempting to travel to Syria to join and fight with ISIL in support of its oppressive, violent and criminal agenda,” said Assistant Director in Charge Abbate. “Thanks to the relentless work of agents, analysts and prosecutors, together with the essential contributions of our partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Force, we were able to disrupt those plans and bring him to justice. The FBI’s highest priority remains preventing terrorist attacks and combating terrorism here in the U.S. and around world.”

U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia imposed today’s sentence and also ordered Farrokh to serve 10 years of supervised release.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Farrokh conspired with Mahmoud Amin Elhassan, 25, also of Woodbridge, to travel from the United States to Syria in order to fight with ISIL. As part of their plan, Farrokh would travel first, followed by Elhassan at a later date. Farrokh and Elhassan spoke in detail about their potential travel, including discussing the different routes each would take to travel to Syria. Farrokh also provided $600 to Elhassan to aid in Elhassan’s future travel to Syria. Both men spoke openly with each other about supporting ISIL and supporting violent jihad and on Oct. 2, 2015, Farrokh stated that he had no patience and wanted to go right away and “chop their heads.”

According to the statement of facts, in an effort to conceal their plans to support ISIL, Farrokh and Elhassan communicated using apps they believed were safe from law enforcement detection. In the summer of 2015, Farrokh and Elhassan talked more seriously about going to join ISIL and concluded that they needed someone to help them do so. Elhassan contacted like-minded people all over the world and the men pursued two separate plans to travel to Syria to join ISIL, but neither plan worked out.

According to the statement of facts, Farrokh and Elhassan conspired with other persons they believed would help facilitate their travel to Syria. Over the course of many meetings, the men discussed in detail their travel plans and efforts to avoid law enforcement detection, including Farrokh shaving his beard and flying out of Richmond International Airport, where they believed there would be less security. Farrokh and Elhassan agreed that Farrokh should tell his family that he intended to travel to Saudi Arabia to study.

According to the statement of facts, on Jan. 15, 2016, Elhassan picked up Farrokh at his home in Woodbridge and drove him to a location approximately one mile from the Richmond airport. Farrokh then took a cab to the airport, checked in for his flight, cleared security and was arrested as he was approaching his departure gate.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gordon D. Kromberg and Dennis M. Fitzpatrick of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case with Trial Attorney D. Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Qamar (E.D. Va. July 8, 2016) (arrest in yet another ISIL material support case)

July 9, 2016

Press release details below:

WASHINGTON – Haris Qamar, 25, of Burke, Virginia, 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. His initial court appearance is at 2 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement after the charges were unsealed.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, on May 26, Qamar and an FBI confidential witness (CW) discussed a video that ISIL was supposedly making to encourage lone wolf attacks in the Washington, D.C., area. Unbeknownst to Qamar, there was no actual video being created. Qamar and the CW discussed the need for photos of possible targets in and around Washington, D.C., for use in the purported ISIL video.

According to the complaint, Qamar offered the CW ideas of where to take photographs for use in the video, including the Pentagon and numerous landmarks in Arlington, Virginia, 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 purported ISIL video.

According to the complaint, the investigation revealed that Qamar operated over 60 variations of the Twitter handle “newerajihadi,” which Qamar used to express his support for ISIL and to share videos and photos of extreme violence, including beheadings and mass shootings.

According to the allegations, during numerous conversations with the CW, Qamar expressed his interest and excitement in the extreme violence that ISIL is known for and said that he loved the bodies, blood and beheadings. On several occasions, Qamar allegedly said that he could slaughter someone and described how he would do it.

On Sept. 11, 2015, terrorists connected with ISIL posted a “kill list” to the internet containing the names and addresses of U.S. military members. A few days later, Qamar allegedly told the CW that the residences of several service members who appeared on the “kill list” were near Qamar’s own home, and that Qamar had observed undercover police cars near those residences. According to the affidavit, on Sept. 16, 2015, Qamar tweeted his prayer that Allah “give strength to the mujahideen to slaughter every single US military officer.”

Additionally, the affidavit alleges that on Sept. 25, 2015, Qamar told the CW that he tried to join ISIL in 2014, but that his parents prevented him from going overseas by controlling his passport. Qamar allegedly said that his parents threatened to notify law enforcement authorities and said that he fought with his father and called his father a traitor to Islam. According to the allegations, on Nov. 18, 2015, Qamar told the CW that he would leave the United States and join ISIL if his father gave him back his passport.

A complaint is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. If convicted, Qamar faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon D. Kromberg of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Josh Parecki of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Abdulkader (S.D. Ohio July 7, 2016) (guilty plea in plot to attack inside US)

July 9, 2016

Plea agreement and information attached, and press release details below:

WASHINGTON – Munir Abdulkader, 21, of West Chester, Ohio, pleaded guilty to attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Abdulkader was charged for his plot to kill an employee of a U.S. military installation and then attack a local police station, all in the Southern District of Ohio.

The unsealing today of the charges and plea agreement were announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman for the Southern District of Ohio and Special Agent in Charge Angela Byers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Division.

According to the statement of facts admitted by Adbulkader as part of his guilty plea, beginning in at least July 2014 and continuing into 2015, Abdulkader expressed his support for ISIL on Twitter. From approximately March 2015 to mid-April 2015, Abdulkader began speaking with a confidential human source (CHS) about his desire and intention to travel to Syria in order to join ISIL, and then began making plans and preparations to travel overseas. He secured a passport, saved money for the trip and researched the necessary logistical details. However, in approximately late April 2015, Abdulkader expressed concerns about his ability to travel and postponed his original departure date of approximately May 2, 2015.

In May 2015, Abdulkader was in communication with one or more individuals located overseas who he understood were members of ISIL. One of the individuals was a member of ISIL identified as Junaid Hussein. Through these communications, Hussein directed and encouraged Abdulkader to plan and execute a violent attack within the United States. Abdulkader communicated with Hussein and the CHS about a plan to kill an identified military employee on account of his position with the U.S. government. The plan included abducting the employee at the employee’s home and filming the execution. After killing the employee, Abdulkader planned to perpetrate a violent attack on a police station in the Southern District of Ohio using firearms and Molotov cocktails.

In preparation for the attacks, Abdulkader asked the CHS to purchase a vest for holding ammunition. On or about May 18, 2015, Abdulkader conducted surveillance on a police station in the Southern District of Ohio. On or about May 20, 2015, Abdulkader went to a shooting range, learned how to operate certain firearms and practiced shooting the firearms. Abdulkader also negotiated the purchase of a firearm, an AK-47 assault rifle. On May 21, 2015, in a controlled purchase, Abdulkader bought the AK-47 assault rifle and was subsequently arrested.

Abdulkader was charged by complaint on May 22, 2015. An information was filed against Abdulkader on March 2, 2016, and he pleaded guilty to the three charges in the information on March 24, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett of the Southern District of Ohio.

Attempted murder of government employees and officials carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Material support of a foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Possession of a firearm in furtherance of an attempted crime of violence carries a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.

Assistant Attorney General Carlin and Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the JTTF. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Mangan and Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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Abdulkader Information.PDF

Abdulkader Plea Agreement.pdf


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Jalloh (E.D. Va. July 3, 2016) (former National Guard member arrested on ISIL material support charge)

July 6, 2016

The criminal complaint is attached, details below:

WASHINGTON – Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, a former member of the Army National Guard, was arrested on July 3 for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). According to the complaint, Jalloh is alleged to have attempted to provide services by assisting in the procurement of weapons to be used in what he believed was going to be an attack on U.S. soil committed in the name of ISIL. In addition, the complaint alleges that Jalloh attempted to provide material support to ISIL by providing money to assist in the facilitation of individuals seeking to join ISIL.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement. Jalloh will make his initial appearance today at 2 p.m. EDT before U.S. Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson of the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to court documents and court proceedings, in March 2016, a now-deceased member of ISIL brokered an introduction between Jalloh, 26, of Sterling, Virginia, and an individual in the United States who actually was an FBI confidential human source (CHS). The ISIL member was actively plotting an attack in the United States and believed the attack would be carried out with the assistance of Jalloh and the CHS.

According to court documents, Jalloh met with the CHS on two occasions in April and May 2016. During the April meeting, Jalloh told the CHS that he was a former member of the Army National Guard, but that he had decided to quit after listening to online lectures by Anwar al-Aulaqi, a deceased leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Jalloh stated that he recently had taken a six-month trip to Africa, where he had met with ISIL members in Nigeria and first began communicating online with the ISIL member who later brokered his introduction to the CHS.

During their meeting, Jalloh also told the CHS that he often thought about conducting an attack and that he knew how to shoot guns. Jalloh praised the gunman who killed five U.S. military members in a terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 2015, and stated that he had been thinking about conducting an attack similar to the November 2009 attack at Ft. Hood, Texas.

During the May 2016 meeting, Jalloh asked the CHS about the timeline for an operation and commented that it was better to plan an operation for the month of Ramadan. Jalloh also asked if the CHS could assist him in providing a donation to ISIL. Ultimately, Jalloh provided a prepaid cash transfer of $500 to a contact of the CHS that Jalloh believed was a member of ISIL, but who was in fact an undercover FBI employee.

In June 2016, Jalloh travelled to North Carolina and made multiple unsuccessful attempts to obtain firearms. On July 2, Jalloh went to a gun dealership in northern Virginia, where he purchased and test-fired a Stag Arms assault rifle. Unbeknownst to Jalloh, the rifle was rendered inoperable before he left the dealership with the weapon. Jalloh was arrested the following day and the FBI seized the rifle.

The criminal complaint charges Jalloh with attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIL, a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, Jalloh faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Gibbs of the Eastern District of Virginia is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Trial Attorney Jolie Zimmerman of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

Jalloh Complaint.pdf


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Mohammad (E.D. Mich. July 6, 2016) (ISIL defendant charged with plotting murder of judge)

July 6, 2016

The indictment is attached, details below:

WASHINGTON – A Toledo, Ohio, grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Yahya Farooq Mohammad today, charging him with soliciting the murder of a federal judge, announced U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade for the Eastern District of Michigan.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Division and U.S. Marshal Peter J. Elliott of the Northern District of Ohio.

Mohammad, 37, from the United Arab Emirates, was charged with attempted first degree murder of a federal officer, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and use of interstate commerce facilities in commission of murder for hire.

Mohammad was indicted last year on charges of conspiring with three other men to travel to Yemen to provide thousands of dollars to Anwar Al-Awlaki in an effort to support violent jihad against U.S. military personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world. That case remains pending and is assigned to U.S. District Judge Jack Zouhary of the Northern District of Ohio.

In the most recent charges, Mohammad is accused of soliciting someone to kidnap and murder Judge Zouhary.

On April 8, Mohammad allegedly told another inmate in the Lucas County Corrections Center in Toledo that he wanted Zouhary kidnapped and murder. That inmate then introduced Mohammad to an undercover FBI employee, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that Mohammad told the inmate that he was willing to pay $15,000 to have Zouhary killed. Mohammad also allegedly told the undercover employee that he could send a down payment through a mail courier or that the undercover could meet Mohammad’s wife in Chicago to pick up the money. When asked when he wanted the murder committed, Mohammad stated: “The sooner would be good, you know,” according to the indictment.

On May 5, Mohammad’s wife, identified in the indictment as N.T., met the undercover agent at a post office in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and provided $1,000 in cash inside a white envelope, according to the indictment.

On May 11, Mohammad informed the inmate that the rest of the money for the murder was coming from Dubai to Texas to Chicago to N.T., and then to the undercover agent, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, on May 16, the undercover agent and N.T. met, and the undercover agent showed N.T. a photograph that purported to be of Zouhary’s dead body. The undercover agent told N.T. he needed the rest of the money owed to him. N.T. said she would contact Mohammad and then she would contact the undercover agent, according to the indictment.

“According to the charges in the indictment, this defendant not only attempted to have a federal judge murdered, but he did so to obstruct justice in a terrorism case against him,” said U.S. Attorney McQuade. “This prosecution seeks to hold the defendant accountable for attempting to victimize the judge and for trying to undermine our criminal justice system.”

“Conspiring to have a judge killed is not the way to avoid being prosecuted – now Mohammad will be held accountable for additional serious federal charges,” said Special Agent in Charge Anthony. “The FBI will continue to work with our partners to ensure the safety of those that uphold the rule of law. “

“Protecting the federal judiciary is our highest priority,” said U.S. Marshal Elliott. “This is an example where we were able to work with our law enforcement partners to protect a judge and bring charges against a dangerous individual.”

The case is prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Freeman and Matthew Shepherd of the Northern District of Ohio following an investigation by the FBI. The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio has recused herself from this case.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violations. Counts one and two of the indictment carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and count three carries a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Mohammad Indictment.pdf


nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Musleh (S.D. Ind. June 21, 2016) (arrest in ISIS material support case)

June 21, 2016

An 18-year old man from Indiana wanting to go to Syria to join ISIS, now charged with attempting to provide himself to ISIS as personnel (remember, 18 USC 2339B in this respect functions as a prohibition on active membership in a designated foreign terrorist organization, as well as a ban on attempting or conspiring to become such a member). Details from the DOJ press release:

WASHINGTON – A Brownsburg, Indiana, man was arrested today for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The arrest was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler of the Southern District of Indiana and Special Agent in Charge W. Jay Abbott of the FBI’s Indiana Division.

Akram Musleh, 18, was arrested by FBI agents while attempting to board a bus from Indianapolis to New York, where he was to fly to and transit through Morocco on his way to ISIL-controlled territory. The criminal complaint alleges that he planned to provide personnel (himself) to ISIL.

“According to the complaint, Musleh attempted to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the designated terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

“The radicalization of American citizens by terrorist organizations like ISIL is a threat to our safety here and abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Minkler. “I am committed to using the full authority of the United States Attorney’s Office to identify, investigate and prosecute those that provide material support to terrorists. I would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Brownsburg Police Department for working with us during this investigation. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners but as in this case, we rely heavily on the public’s assistance to help make our community safe.”

“Terrorism is the FBI’s number one priority and we work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our community,” said Special Agent in Charge Abbott. “This case demonstrates the value of law enforcement collaboration and community engagement.”

A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court. If convicted, Musleh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

This prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley Shepard and Doris Pryor of the Southern District of Indiana and Trial Attorneys Paul Casey and Kiersten Korczynski of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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