Feds: Connecticut man wanted to fight for Islamic State

December 16, 2019 GMT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man who allegedly expressed interest in fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria was arrested as he prepared to leave the U.S. by boat, federal authorities said Monday.

Ahmad Khalil Elshazly, 22, of West Haven, was arrested Sunday in the shoreline town of Stonington, where he expected to board a boat and begin a trip to Turkey, prosecutors said Sunday. He was ordered to be detained during a federal court hearing Monday in New Haven.

Elshazly is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.


His public defender, Tracy Hayes, declined to comment.

Federal authorities including Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham allege Elshazly, a U.S. citizen, began telling other people last year that he wanted to travel to Syria and the surrounding area to fight for the Islamic State. In October, he told others he wanted to kill 100 “kaffirs,” or infidels, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Elshazly made numerous other statements including, “God willing! May this country (the U.S.) burn the same way they burned Muslims! May they burn in fire at the end!”

Elshazly was worried about being stopped by law enforcement at an airport and arranged to travel by ship to Turkey, giving someone $500 to pay for a portion of his trip, prosecutors said.