Portland Resident Indicted for Providing Material Support to ISIS

The Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Portland returned a five count indictment against Portland resident Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, 31, charging two counts of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B(a)(1). In addition, the indictment charges Mothafar with one count of false statements in an immigration application in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1546(a) and one count of false statement to a government agency in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2).

Mothafar had his initial appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo yesterday.  Due to the fact that Mothafar has physical disabilities and is confined to a wheelchair, the government did not seek detention. Rather, Mothafar was released on conditions including limitations on travel and the use of electronic devices.

According to the allegations contained within the indictment, between February 2015, and up to the time of arrest, Mothafar conspired with ISIS members to provide material support to ISIS.  This support included a range of activities.  Mothafar produced and distributed ISIS propaganda and recruiting materials that he created and edited in coordination with official ISIS media operatives located overseas.  Mothafar produced, edited, and distributed a number of publications and articles including “Effective Stabbing Techniques,” which provided detailed guidance on how to best kill and maim a target in a knife attack, a tutorial on using explosive ignition devices entitled “How Does a Detonator Work,” and propaganda that encouraged readers to carry out attacks in their home countries if they could not travel overseas to fight.  Mothafar also maintained contact with ISIS officials overseas and provided technical support to these individuals that included opening social media and email accounts for official use.  During the time of this alleged activity, Mothafar also made false statements on immigration documents and to government officials denying any ties to terrorist organizations.

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Portland Division and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ethan Knight and Geoffrey Barrow with the assistance of Counterrorism Trial Attorney Alexandra Hughes.

An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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