A federal jury found a Dallas, Texas, Muslim man guilty of a number of terrorism charges, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas and the Assistant Attorney General for National Security during a press briefing on Monday.
After sitting through a three-and-a-half day trial, the jurors convicted Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim, a 42-year-old United States citizen, of one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO), one count of trying to provide material support to an FTO, and six separate counts of perjury involving international terrorism.
“We will won’t allow radical Islamists motivated by dangerous ideologies to promote violence against innocent people,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “The Justice Department is committed to combating terror at home and abroad.”
“Said Azzam Mohamad Rahim operated online to spread ISIS’s poisonous message of hate and violence,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers. “Then he attempted to travel to support ISIS and he lied to the FBI when questioned about his activities. With the jury’s guilty verdicts, he is being held accountable for his crimes. I want to thank the prosecutors, [the law enforcement] agents, and intelligence analysts who are responsible for this result.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Rahim moderated a social media channel dedicated to recruiting fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, a State Department designated terror group.
Mr. Rahim used Zello, a push-to-talk direct messaging application, to promote violence in ISIS’s name, prosecutors said.
Records showed he spent hours on Zello’s “State of the Islamic Caliphate” channel, where he touted acts of terror under various monikers:
“Kill and do not consult anyone,” he said in July 2016. “Kill by any means, smash his head on the wall, spit in his face, burn — I mean anything, anything – poison, anything.”
“Brothers! What are you waiting for?” he said a month later. “Mobilize and perform jihad for the cause of Allah…. Some of the brothers mobilized from this channel, they were amongst us.”
He even praised several terrorist attacks after the fact.
“I was happy for this act,” Rahim said after a truck barreled into a crowd of people in Nice, France, killing 86. “Those dogs.”
Mr. Rahim was arrested on March 5, 2017 at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Amman, Jordan. Asked by agents if he had ever supported ISIS, advocated travel for the purposes of jihad, promoted violence on ISIS’s behalf, or encouraged anyone to kill infidels at the urging of ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, Mr. Rahim said “no.”
Mr. Rahim now faces up to 20 years in federal prison for each material support count and eight years for each false statement count, for a total of up to 88 years imprisonment.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of State – Diplomatic Security Services, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force — conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Errin Martin and Trial Attorney Taryn Meeks of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section prosecuted the case. U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle presided over the trial.
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