6 people charged in U.S. with supporting ISIS
The suspects, five of whom were arrested in the U.S., are all charged with providing material support to terrorists and conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, the DOJ said in a statement.
They were identified as Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, who live in St. Louis County, Missouri; Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34 of Schiller Park, Illinois; and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford, Illinois.
The suspects immigrated from Bosnia, the Justice Department said. Three of them became naturalized U.S. citizens and the others have legal resident of refugee status.
According to an indictment unsealed Friday, the defendants sent weapons, U.S. military uniforms and tactical equipment to a man named Abdullah Ramo Pazara, a Bosnian who traveled from St. Louis to Syria in 2013 to join ISIS. They also used Western Union and PayPal to transfer money to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, where third parties sent it to Syria and Iraq. Some of the equipment was also transferred through intermediaries.
Pazara was not charged because it is believed that he was killed last year. He communicated with the defendants through social media, according to the FBI and DOJ, and bragged online about killing and kidnapping several people.
Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and Rosic face the additional charge of conspiring to kill and main persons in a foreign country.
Hodzic allegedly provided tactical advice to Pazara and other foreign fighters, the indictment said, and sent rifle scopes and range finders to Pazara, intending that they be used on sniper rifles. Rosic attempted to travel to Syria, according to the indictment.
\"Today's charges and arrests underscore our resolve to identify, thwart, and hold accountable individuals within the United States who seek to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations operating in Syria and Iraq,\" Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said in a statement. \"Preventing the provision of supplies, money, and personnel to foreign terrorist organizations like ISIL remains a top priority of the National Security Division and our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities.\"
The suspects face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count if convicted. Hodzic and Rosic could be sentenced to life in prison if they are convicted on the additional conspiracy charge.