nationalsecuritylaw United States v. Elhassan (EDVA May 24, 2016) (ISIL material support indictment)

From DOJ’s press release:

WASHINGTON – Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan, 26, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was indicted by a grand jury late yesterday on charges of conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization; aiding and abetting the provision of material support to ISIL; and making false statements to the FBI.

The indictment was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente of the Eastern District of Virginia.

According to the indictment, from on or about Aug. 1, 2015, until Jan. 15, 2016, Elhassan unlawfully and knowingly conspired with Joseph Hassan Farrokh to provide material support or resources to ISIL. In furtherance of the conspiracy, on Jan. 15, 2016, Elhassan drove Farrokh to Richmond, Virginia, in order to enable Farrokh to fly to overseas to join ISIL.

According to the indictment, Elhassan also attempted to provide material support or resources to ISIL by aiding and abetting Farrokh’s attempt to join ISIL. Elhassan’s aiding and abetting included introducing Farrokh to an individual that Elhassan believed could facilitate Farrokh’s travel overseas; driving Farrokh from Farrokh’s home to Richmond so that Farrokh could embark on his travel to join ISIL; and making false statements to the FBI about Farrokh’s travel in order to hinder the government’s investigation of Farrokh’s travel.

According to the indictment, Elhassan knowingly, unlawfully and willfully made material false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations in a matter involving international terrorism, including: On Jan. 15, 2016, Elhassan falsely stated to FBI agents that Farrokh had flown out of Dulles Airport earlier that day on a flight to California to attend a funeral; that Farrokh had said that he would be back in about two weeks; that neither he nor Farrokh supported ISIL; and neither he nor Farrokh ever tried to find someone to help them get to ISIL.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

If convicted, Elhassan faces a maximum sentence of 48 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 investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dennis M. Fitzpatrick and Gordon D. Kromberg of the Eastern District of Virginia, along with Trial Attorney D. Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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