A U.S. citizen, Ibraheem Musaibli, 28, who was caught while fighting for ISIS has now been indicted for charges tied to terrorism.
Musaibli, according to U.S. Department of Justice officials, traveled to Syria in 2015 to fight with ISIS against U.S. coalition forces.
He’s a native of Dearborn, Michigan. And he was allegedly fingered as an ISIS operative by another detainee at the Syrian Democratic Forces’ holding facility, where he was initially placed.
Dearborn, of course, is a Muslim stronghold. And here’s a video from 2016 when Muslims in the city danced and celebrated the attack in Orlando on the gay nightclub, Pulse.
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The indictment against Musaibli was unsealed Tuesday in the Eastern District of Michigan. It alleges that Musaibli traveled to Syria and “knowingly provided and attempted to provide material support to ISIS” in the form of “personnel and services.”
Prosecutors say Musaibli fought alongside ISIS militants from April 2015 through June 2018 as they battled U.S. coalition forces in Syria.
“I am confident that he will face justice for his crimes, and I hope that his case sends a clear message that we will hold our citizens accountable who are apprehended overseas and tried to join a terrorist organization such as ISIS,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in a statement.
Musaibli will be arraigned in federal court in Detroit on Wednesday, according to the DOJ. He is only the second American citizen known to have been captured while fighting for ISIS in Syria.
The Pentagon confirmed that an American man identified only as “John Doe” had been captured in Syria in September, also by the SDF. The Trump administration initially tried to transfer him to Saudi Arabian custody, but a U.S. federal court blocked the move pursuant to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit on the man’s behalf.
Later, the military said it would leave John Doe in the Syrian town where he was detained. The ACLU also sued to prevent that option, and the man remains in military custody while the case moves through the courts.
John Doe’s case illustrates the difficulties Western governments face in prosecuting citizens who’ve traveled abroad to fight with terrorist groups. Britain, France and other European nations have refused to extradite the majority of their citizens being held in Syrian prisons over fears that civil criminal cases could fall apart under strict rules of evidence.
In Musaibli’s case, however, the existence of an indictment suggests authorities have collected enough evidence to make a case against him.
The Department of Justice has posted the official grand jury charges from the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan:
To view, CLICK HERE.
But Count One reads:
In or about April 2015, and continuing through in or about June 2018, in the Eastern District of Michigan … Ibraheem Izzy Musaiabli, aka Abu Shifa Musaibli, aka Abu ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al Yemeni, a United States citizen who last resided int he Eastern District of Michigan, did knowingly provide and attempt to provide material support and resources in the form of personnel (namely, himself) and services, to a foreign terrorist organization, to wit: the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”), which, at all times relevant to this indictment, was designated by the Secretary of State as a foreign terrorist organizationn, knowing that ISIS was a designated foreign terrorist organization and that ISIS engages and has engaged in terrorist activity and terrorism, all in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B.”
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