May 26, 2015

Texas Resident Charged with Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to ISIL

HOUSTON—A criminal complaint has been unsealed in the Southern District of Texas following the arrest of a Spring man on allegations he conspired to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organization. United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson made the announcement along with Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner of the FBI’s Houston Division.

Asher Abid Khan, 20, was taken into custody this morning without incident. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy in Houston at 2:00 p.m. today.

The criminal complaint alleges Khan and a friend devised a plan to travel to Turkey and on to Syria for the purpose of joining and waging jihad on behalf of ISIL. Khan had allegedly asked a Turkish-based foreign terrorist fighter facilitator that “I wana join ISIS can you help?” He also told someone else that “I wana die as a Shaheed [martyr],” according to the allegations.

Khan’s friend allegedly made it to Syria and ISIL with the assistance of Khan and the foreign terrorist fighter facilitator. Khan had been living in Australia with a relative and made it to Istanbul, Turkey, where he was to meet up with his friend in their quest to join ISIL, according to the complaint. However, Khan’s family sent him false information regarding his mother’s health and he was deceived into returning home to Texas.

If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in federal prison. A conviction also carries a possible $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and Alamdar Hamdani are prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorneys Josh Parecki and Keith Parrella of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.