Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion Attempted to Travel Overseas to Join Lashkar e-Tayyiba
The Department of Justice announced today that Jesus Wilfredo Encarnacion, a/k/a “Jihadistsoldgier,” “Jihadinhear,” “Jihadinheart,” “Lionofthegood,” was sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based designated foreign terrorist organization responsible for multiple high-profile attacks, including the infamous Mumbai attacks in November 2008. In addition, Encarnacion was sentenced to a lifetime term of supervised release. Encarnacion pleaded guilty on Jan. 22, 2020, before United States District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who also imposed today’s sentence.
“Unfortunately, individuals continue to attempt to travel to foreign countries to support terrorist organizations. Encarnacion’s sentence reflects the seriousness with which the justice system takes these efforts,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “The National Security Division remains committed to identifying and holding accountable those who seek to join and support designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
“Jesus Encarnacion plotted to travel abroad, to join and train with Lashkar e-Tayyiba, infamous worldwide for the jihadist murder of innocent civilians, and to carry out shootings, bombings, and beheadings in behalf of that terrorist organization,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District of New York. “Thanks to the FBI, the NYPD, and the Joint Terrorist Task Force, Encarnacion has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for his crime.”
According to the criminal complaint, indictment, other court filings, and statements during court proceedings:
In November 2018, Encarnacion expressed his desire to join a terrorist group in an online group chat, where he met another individual (CC-1). CC-1 introduced Encarnacion to an individual who, unbeknownst to CC-1 or Encarnacion, was in fact an undercover FBI employee (UC-1). Encarnacion repeatedly expressed, in the course of recorded communications through a social media service with CC-1 and through an encrypted messaging service with UC-1, his allegiance to and support for LeT, which, since approximately 2001, has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by both the United States Secretary of State and the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Over several months, Encarnacion discussed his desire and plans to join LeT overseas so that he could receive training and participate in violent acts of terrorism. For example, Encarnacion told UC-1 that he was “ready to kill and die in the name of Allah” and sought UC-1’s assistance to help Encarnacion travel abroad to serve as an “executioner” for LeT, stating, “I want to execute. I want to behead. Shoot.” Encarnacion further stated that he aspired to commit terrorist attacks (“a bombing and shooting”) in the United States, but lacked “guidance” and “guns” to do so.
By early 2019, Encarnacion and UC-1 agreed on a plan that Encarnacion believed would allow him to join LeT in Pakistan. Encarnacion told UC-1 that he had made arrangements to travel to a particular city in Europe (the “European City”), as the first step in traveling to Pakistan to join LeT. Encarnacion purchased an airline ticket for a flight scheduled to depart on Feb.7, 2019, from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) to the European City. On Feb. 7, 2019, Encarnacion traveled to JFK Airport, where he was arrested by the FBI after he attempted to board that flight.
In addition to the prison term, Encarnacion was also sentenced to serve a life term of supervised release.
Assistant Attorney General Demers and Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of agents from the FBI and detectives from the New York City Police Department. Ms. Strauss also thanked the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, as well as the New York Office of U. S. Customs and Border Protection.
This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David W. Denton Jr. and Kimberly J. Ravener are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Bridget Behling of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
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- United States Citizen Who Joined ISIS Charged With Material Support ViolationsBy Sam NewsSeptember 16, 2020An indictment and arrest warrant were unsealed today in the federal court of the District of Columbia charging Lirim Sylejmani, a Kosovo-born naturalized U.S. citizen, with conspiring to provide, providing, and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization, and receiving training from ISIS, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2339B and 2339D.[Read More…]
- NASA’s AIRS Sees Hurricane Douglas, Tropical Storm Hanna From SpaceBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Wild weather sweeping in [Read More…]
- Justice Department Reaches Landmark Agreement with Massachusetts Department of Children and Family to Address Discrimination Against Parents with DisabilitiesBy Sam NewsNovember 19, 2020The Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that they reached a landmark agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF).[Read More…]
- Former Resident of Stockton, California Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison for Human Trafficking Convictions Related to Forced Labor of Foreign NationalsBy Sam NewsOctober 5, 2020Sharmistha Barai, 40, formerly of Stockton, California, was sentenced Friday, Oct. 2 to 15 years and eight months in prison for forced labor violations.[Read More…]
- Former Deputy Jailer Sentenced to 48 Months for Violating the Civil Rights of an InmateBy Sam NewsAugust 17, 2020A former Shelby County Deputy Jailer, William Anthony Carey, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gregory F. VanTatenhove to serve 48 months in federal prison for violating the civil rights of an inmate in his custody.[Read More…]
- Malaysia Travel AdvisoryBy Sam NewsSeptember 26, 2020Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
- Terrorist Designation of ISIS Leader Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-MawlaBy Sam NewsMarch 17, 2020
- 2020 U.S.-Vietnam Human Rights DialogueBy Sam NewsOctober 6, 2020