The United States government announced on Saturday that it arrested two men who were allegedly attempting to assist the Islamic State. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the men are from Virginia, and they were arrested after driving to the airport. Allegedly, one of the men was trying to go to Syria.
Heading to Syria by Way of Jordan
Authorities arrested 28-year-old Joseph Hassan Farrokh at the Richmond International Airport on Friday. He was attempting to board a jet en route to Chicago. Federal officials claim that Farrokh was going to fly from Chicago to Jordan, and from there, Syria. Farrokh was born in Pennsylvania and he is a U.S. citizen. The Justice Department said that they charged Farrokh with trying to give "material support and resources to ISIL."
The other man, 25-year-old Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan, was also arrested. Authorities say that Elhassan provided transportation to the airport for Farrokh. Elhassan has been accused of aiding Farrokh. Elhassan is a permanent resident of the United States, and originally comes from Sudan.
Court Dates Scheduled for This Tuesday
Both men will be appearing in a federal courthouse Tuesday in Alexandria, Virginia. If they are convicted, they could spend a maximum of 20 years in a federal penitentiary.
Federal prosecutors allege that Farrokh was communicating with several FBI informants, whom he asked to help him enlist with the Islamic State terrorist organization. During a meeting with the FBI informants, Farrokh allegedly swore an oath of allegiance to the Islamic State. Agents say that the man promised to die for the Islamic State as a martyr. Authorities further claim that Farrokh expressed concern that he could be arrested for trying to get to Syria.
The only information we know about this case is from the federal authorities that made the arrest. It should be kept in mind that the men will have the ability to defend themselves against their allegations in criminal court. Furthermore, they will not be punished until they are proved to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
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