2 refugees in Arizona charged with supporting Islamic State
PHOENIX (AP) — Two Somalia refugees living in Arizona were charged with providing support to a terror group after federal agents say they were planning to travel from Tucson to Egypt to join the Islamic State.
A criminal charge unsealed Monday alleged 21-year-old Ahmed Mahad Mohamed and 20-year-old Abdi Yemani Hussein had told an undercover FBI employee that they wanted to travel to the Middle East to carry out violence and “achieve martyrdom.”
Both Tucson residents, who had received government documents to travel to Egypt, were arrested Friday after they checked in for their flights and made their way through security at Tucson International Airport.
Mohamed is accused of expressing an interest in beheading people, while authorities say Hussein expressed a desire to kill people in the Middle East.
Tom Hartzell, an attorney for Mohamed, didn’t return a call seeking comment on his client’s behalf.
Brad Roach, attorney for Hussein, said his client is asserting his innocence and “looking forward to the legal process going forward.”
Authorities say Mohamed told an undercover FBI employee during social-media exchanges that he was “thirsty” for the blood of disbelievers and that “the best wake up call is (for the) Islamic State to get victory or another 911.”
During an April meeting with the undercover FBI employee, Mohamed said “jihad is the only thing on his mind and that he wants to make the kuffar (disbelievers) in Egypt cry,” according to the criminal complaint.
During a meeting a month ago between Mohamed, Hussein and the undercover FBI employee, Hussein said he wanted to blow up the White House and that when he arrived in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt, “he needs blood on his hands,” according to the complaint.
Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud.