A 22-year old man from Connecticut who had reportedly made preparations to flee the US to join the Islamic terrorist organisation ISIS has been arrested, Federal prosecutors said on Monday (December 16, 2019).
Ahmad Khalil Elshazly, 22, was arrested near the Stonington shoreline as he tried to board a container ship, embarking on a journey to Turkey, in order to join ISIS, the prosecutors said.
Elshazly decided to travel by sea
Elshazly chose to travel by sea as he feared being stopped by law enforcement at an airport. He had paid someone $500 for the trip. "Worried that his efforts here would be too small and that he would be stopped at the airport, he planned to travel overseas aboard a container ship to join and fight for ISIS," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said, ABC reported.
"The National Security Division is committed to identifying and holding accountable those who continue to seek to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations," he added.
According to the prosecutors, Elshazly had, since last year, started sharing his intent to travel to Syria to join the caliphate. In February, this year, he was said to have saved $1,000 to travel to Jordan and then to Syria, for joining ISIS.
He had also shared his intent to kill 'kafirs', or infidels. "God willing! May this country [United States] burn the same way they burned Muslims! May they burn in fire at the end," Elshazly said, according to the prosecutors. When he was asked to lower his voice when talking loudly, Elshazly proclaimed, "I am not scared."
He also said, "I want to go to the caliphate and fight there. I can kill maybe ... like a hundred kaffir. I can kill them. A hundred kaffirs. If I do something here how many kaffirs could I kill? One, two, three and then I get shot and I die. It is more benefiting if I go there, I could kill more and will get more faithful rewards."
Earlier this month, he had also shared with a person a series of YouTube videos explaining how various high-powered firearms and other weaponry work. Elshazly has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. If convicted, he could face a jail term of up to 20 years.