Two ISIS Members Charged with Material Support Violations

Two United States citizens who were detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and recently transferred to the custody of the FBI have been charged with material support violations relating to their support for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), made the announcement.  

Emraan Ali, 53, a U.S. citizen born in Trinidad & Tobago, was charged in a complaint with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS.  Jihad Ali, 19, a U.S. citizen born in New York, was charged in a complaint with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS.  Both defendants had their initial appearances today in federal court in the Southern District of Florida before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres.

According to the criminal complaints, in March 2015, Emraan Ali traveled to Syria with his family, including his son, Jihad Ali, to join ISIS.  Both Emraan Ali and Jihad Ali received military and religious training and served as fighters in support of the terrorist organization.  In addition to serving as a fighter, Emraan Ali served in various other roles in support of ISIS.  Emraan and Jihad Ali finally surrendered to the SDF near Baghuz in March 2019, during the last sustained ISIS battles to maintain territory in Syria.

Assistant Attorney General Demers and Ms. Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the JTTF.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Del Toro and Jonathan Kobrinski, with assistance from Trial Attorney Elisa Poteat of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In its May 2021 report, GAO found that the Department of Defense (DOD) met a statutory requirement to collect and report data for incidents that it determined met its criteria for domestic abuse. In fiscal years 2015-2019, DOD determined that over 40,000 domestic abuse incidents met its criteria, of which 74 percent were physical abuse. However, DOD has not collected and reported accurate data for all domestic abuse allegations received, including those that did not meet DOD's criteria, as statutorily required. Thus, DOD is unable to assess the scope of alleged abuse and its rate of substantiation. In addition, despite a statutory requirement since 1999, DOD has not collected comprehensive data on the number of allegations of domestic violence—a subcategory of different types of domestic abuse that constitute offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice—and related actions taken by commanders. Improving collection of these data could enhance DOD's visibility over actions taken by commanders to address domestic violence. DOD and the military services have taken steps to implement and oversee domestic abuse prevention and response activities, but gaps exist in key areas, including creating awareness of domestic abuse reporting options and resources, allegation screening, and victim risk assessment. For example, while DOD and the military services have taken steps to promote awareness of reporting options and resources, DOD has not fully addressed challenges in doing so, and may miss opportunities to provide available resources to victims. In addition, the military services perform limited monitoring of installation incident-screening decisions and therefore lack reasonable assurance that all domestic abuse allegations are screened in accordance with DOD policy. DOD and the military services have developed risk assessment tools in accordance with DOD policy, but the Army, the Navy, and the Marine Corps have not ensured their consistent implementation across installations, and may therefore be limited in their ability to identify and convey the need for any critical safety measures for victims of domestic abuse. Finally, GAO found that the military services perform limited oversight of commanders' disposition of domestic violence incidents, referred to as command actions. These command actions can have significant implications, including for victims' eligibility for transitional compensation and Lautenberg Amendment restrictions to firearm possession for alleged abusers. DOD has not assessed the potential risks associated with its current disposition model for domestic violence incidents and the feasibility of potential alternatives that may respond to such risks. Performing such an assessment could provide the department and military services with a better understanding of such risks and their resulting potential impacts. Why GAO Did This Study This testimony summarizes the information contained in GAO's May 2021 report, entitled Domestic Abuse: Actions Needed to Enhance DOD's Prevention, Response, and Oversight (GAO-21-289). Specifically, this testimony discusses the extent to which 1) DOD has met statutory requirements to collect and report complete data on reports of domestic abuse and 2) DOD and the military services have implemented and overseen domestic abuse prevention and response activities, including commanders' disposition of incidents, in accordance with DOD policy.
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  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken to U.S. Mission Mexico
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]