Raleigh Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support for Terrorism
WASHINGTON—Akba Jihad Jordan, 22, of Raleigh, North Carolina, pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Jordan and co-defendant Avin Marsalis Brown, 21, also of Raleigh, were arrested on March 19, 2014, and charged initially in a criminal complaint. On April 1, 2014, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Jordan and Brown with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker stated, “This investigation is a sober reminder that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prosecute extremists who conspire to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”
“Akba Jordan turned his back on his own country and was willing to fight side by side with terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria who wish to do us harm,” said John Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina. “American citizens who offer support to terrorist organizations pose a grave threat to our national security and will face serious consequences for their actions.”
As set forth in the affidavit supporting the complaint, Brown initiated contact online with an undercover employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Brown requested assistance in traveling overseas for “fisabilillah”—a phrase commonly utilized by Islamic Extremists to refer to joining extremist groups in violence overseas. Subsequently, both Brown and Jordan engaged in numerous discussions with an FBI confidential source in which they expressed a desire to travel overseas to join certain groups in fighting the “kuffar” (non-Muslims) and “munafiq” (Muslims considered to be hypocrites), primarily in either Syria or Yemen. These groups included al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), and jabhat al-Nusrah (JAN). They also talked frequently about weapons and the use of weapons in fighting the kuffar, both overseas and in the United States. Jordan specifically discussed with Brown the weapons he had in his possession, including an AK-47, and described how he would not hesitate to use them. The affidavit describes a meeting at Jordan’s apartment on Dec. 30, 2013, during which Jordan showed Brown how to break down the AK-47.
On March 19, 2014, Brown was arrested at Raleigh Durham International Airport prior to boarding a flight with a final destination in Turkey. Brown stated in an interview that he intended to travel from Turkey into Syria. Once overseas, Brown intended to meet with a member of ISIS whom he had befriended online. Once established, and after Jordan had obtained his own passport and enough funds to purchase a ticket, Brown could then assist Jordan in entering Syria from Turkey to additionally join Brown.
Jordan, who had not yet obtained a passport, was also arrested on March 19. Jordan admitted that he had made an appointment to obtain a passport so that so that he could go to Syria and fight. A search warrant executed that day at Jordan’s apartment recovered the AK-47 and several other weapons. On Aug.12, 2014, Brown pleaded guilty to the indictment. His sentencing is currently set for Nov. 6, 2014.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte Division, Resident Agency Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The Raleigh JTTF consists of the following agencies: FBI, DHS-H.S.I., Raleigh Police Department, Durham Police Department, Cary Police Department, NC State Bureau of Investigation, and the NC State Highway Patrol. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Kellhofer and Trial Attorney Michael Dittoe of the Counterterrorism Section in the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
News releases are available on the U.S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.