An Ohio man, who was arrested by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force at John Glenn International Airport in 2018 while trying to travel to Afghanistan to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) or ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K), was sentenced today in federal court.
Naser Almadaoji, 23, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release.
Almadaoji pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in November 2021. He admitted to attempting to provide material support – himself, as personnel – to foreign terrorist organizations, namely ISIS and ISIS-K.
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According to court documents, Almadaoji purchased a plane ticket for travel on Oct. 24, 2018, and was arrested by FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force officers after checking in and obtaining his boarding pass.
The defendant intended to travel to Astana, Kazahkstan, where he planned to be smuggled into Afghanistan so that he could join and receive military training from ISIS-K in support of both that terrorist group and ISIS.
Almadaoji explained to an individual whom he believed to be an ISIS supporter that he wanted “weapons experts training, planning and executing, hit and run, capturing high-value targets, ways to break into homes and avoid security guards. That type of training.”
He began making travel plans in September 2018.
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Prior to that, between Feb. 16 and 24, 2018, Almadaoji traveled to Egypt and Jordan for the purpose of joining ISIS’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS Wilayat Sinai, another designated foreign terrorist organization, but he ultimately was unsuccessful.
Almadaoji told an individual posing as an ISIS supporter online about his proposed plot to start a conflict in the United States between the federal government and anti-government militias. He asked the purported ISIS supporter for a guide on how to make a car bomb.
In August 2018, Almadaoji also told the purported ISIS supporter that he was “always willing” to assist with “projects” in the United States.
Almadaoji recorded and sent a video of himself wearing a headscarf and pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS.
In addition, Almadaoji translated a purported ISIS document from Arabic to English, telling his contact, “Don’t thank me, it’s my duty.”
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