Troutdale man charged with helping ISIS
A disabled Troutdale man has been indicted on five counts related to providing support for ISIS, federal authorities announced Thursday, Nov. 5.
Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, 31, produced and distributed ISIS propaganda and recruiting materials on social media, including an article on "Effective Stabbing Techniques," the U.S. Attorney in Oregon alleges.
A federal grand jury charged Mothafar with two counts of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization and one count of providing and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. In addition, Mothafar was charged with one count of making false statements on an immigration application and one count of making a false statement to a government agency.
At an appearance Nov. 5 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jolie A. Russo, Mothafar was released under conditions that limited his travel and use of electronic devices. The release was due to his physical disabilities and the fact that he uses a wheelchair, the U.S. Attorney said.
The nine-page indictment alleges that Mothafar, a legal permanent U.S. resident, engaged in these activities from February 2015 through his November 2020 arrest.
Mothafar created, edited and distributed the propaganda in coordination with official ISIS media operatives located overseas, the U.S. Attorney alleges.
One piece was the "Stabbing" article, which provided detailed guidance on how to best kill and maim a target in a knife attack. Another was a tutorial on using explosive ignition devices entitled "How Does a Detonator Work," as well as propaganda that encouraged readers to carry out attacks in their home countries if they could not travel overseas to fight.
Mothafar moderated private chat rooms and channels that supported ISIS, the indictment said.
Mothafar also maintained contact with ISIS officials overseas and provided technical support to them that included opening social media and email accounts for their use, the government alleges.
During the time of this alleged activity, Mothafar also made false statements on immigration documents and to government officials denying any ties to terrorist organizations.
"This defendant is a legal permanent resident of the United States who abandoned the country that took him in and instead pledged allegiance to ISIS and repeatedly and diligently promoted its violent objectives," U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams said in the announcement.
"Our national security prosecutors and law enforcement partners will continue to ensure that those who threaten our country are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," he added.
Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon, which investigated the case, said: "The threat of ISIS-inspired terrorism remains very real thanks, in part, to an army of online supporters who produce propaganda that aims to incite 'lone actor' operators in the U.S. and around the world. Today, the FBI arrested one such man in our own community for his alleged role as a leading figure in the Islamic State's media network. When it comes to cases like this one, a computer and a keyboard can be powerful weapons against enemies of the Islamic State."
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