Maryland Man Indicted for Attempt to Give Material Support to Jihadists 

NACOP is a fraternal organization representing police chiefs, commanding officers, and directors of public safety, and private security directors.

A federal indictment alleges that 28-year-old Rondell Henry attempted to provide personnel and services to the foreign terrorist network known as the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS).

A counter-terrorism unit from the sheriff’s department participated in the arrest of ISIS sympathizer.

A federal grand jury on Friday returned an indictment charging Rondell Henry, 28, of Germantown, Maryland, with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”), and the charge of interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle.

ISIS has long been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”) by the U.S. Secretary of State under the Immigration and Nationality Act. ISIS is also listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Henry has been detained by the federal authorities awaiting prosecution since his arrest on April 3, 2019.

The superseding indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers; Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Acting Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Chief Michael L. Brown of the City of Alexandria (Virginia) Police Department.

In his announcement to law enforcement and intelligence organizations such as the National Association of Chiefs of Police and Sentinel Intelligence Services, Maryland’s U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur stated, “Law enforcement is working tirelessly to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks, whether they come from within or outside the United States.  We will continue to use every lawful tool at our disposal to find and prosecute those who want to do this country harm. This indictment is the next step in holding Rondell Henry accountable for his actions.”

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers added, “The defendant, allegedly inspired by ISIS and its violent ideology, stole a vehicle as part of his plan to kill and injure innocent pedestrians.  The National Security Division, working with our partners, remains committed to identifying and holding accountable those who would commit terrorist attacks on our soil.”

“All across the country, each and every day, the top priority of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF) is to protect the American public by disrupting potential violent actors,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) Jennifer Boone from her office in Baltimore.

SAIC Boone added, “Our Maryland JTTF, working in tandem with the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC), is dedicated to identifying and bringing to justice those individuals who provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations, engage in violent extremism, and threaten our national security.”

Police dog (German Sheppard) wearing K-9 Gas Mask.

According to the indictment beginning on March 26, 2019 through March 28, 2019, the suspect Mr. Henry knowingly attempted to provide material support and resources, including services and personnel—specifically, himself—to ISIS.  Further, the indictment alleges that on March 27, 2019, Henry transported a stolen U-Haul van from Virginia into Maryland.

Court documents allege that Mr. Henry, who claimed to be recruited and enticed by ISIS, stole a U-Haul rental van in Alexandria, Virginia, and then he drove it to Maryland. The terrorist-wannabe intended using the van as a weapon against pedestrians on sidewalks within the National Harbor complex along the Potomac River in Maryland.

On March 27, 2019, the stolen U-Haul was located at the National Harbor in Maryland.  Law enforcement reviewed video surveillance of the area that showed Henry parking and subsequently exiting the stolen U-Haul.  Henry was arrested the following day by Prince George’s County Police officers.

If he is convicted, Henry faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to ISIS, and another 10 years in prison for interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle.

A superseding indictment is not a finding of guilt.  An individual charged by superseding indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers commended the FBI, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the City of Alexandria Police Department for their work in the investigation, and thanked the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center for its assistance.  Mr. Hur thanked his office’s national security prosecutors, who are handling the case.

U.S. prosecutors have charged more than 100 individuals with ISIS-related crimes since 2013.

Last month, an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army was arrested in Hawaii for allegedly providing material support to ISIS.

In February, a Florida man was convicted of plotting to set off a bomb at a public beach in an act that prosecutors said was inspired by ISIS. The man, 25-year-old Harlem Suarez, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists. He faces up to life in prison at his sentencing.

Last October, a former California college student was sentenced to 30 years in prison for trying to aid ISIS.

NACOP Chiefs of Police - James Kouri

Jim Kouri is a member of the Board of Advisors and a former vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Inc. a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization incorporated in Florida in May 1967. The Association was organized for educational and charitable activities for law enforcement officers in command ranks and supervisory agents of state & federal law enforcement agencies as well as leaders in the private security sector. NACOP also provides funding to small departments, officers and the families of those officers paralyzed and disabled in the line of duty.

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