The Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release Monday that an Ohio man pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from a 2018 attempt to join ISIS.
Naser Almadaoji, 22, who was born in Iraq but lived in Beavercreek, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support Friday, just before his criminal trial was set to begin.
The DOJ made it clear that Almadaoji himself was the “material support” he intended to provide to the infamous terrorist group. He wanted to become an ISIS soldier.
According to the release, Almadaoji traveled to Jordan and Egypt between February 16 and February 24 of 2018, “for the purpose of joining ISIS’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS Wilayat Sinai, another designated foreign terrorist organization.”
He was unsuccessful in his first attempt, so in September of that year, he traveled to Kazakhstan where he planned to be smuggled into Afghanistan to train to fight for ISIS.
During the time in which he was planning to travel to the Middle East, Almadaoji was in contact online with someone whom he believed was an ISIS supporter.
The now-convicted terror supporter said that in his ISIS training in Afghanistan, he would learn “weapons experts training, planning and executing, hit and run, capturing high value targets, [and] ways to break into homes and avoid security guards.”
He also told that person he was willing to help ISIS here in the United States, and even schemed with him to start a conflict between “anti-government militias” and the federal government. He even asked for advice on making a car bomb and sent a video pledging his allegiance to ISIS to his contact.
Almadaoji is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2022. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
“This is now the second person from the Dayton area held accountable in recent times for trying to join ISIS,” acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel said in a statement. “Whatever grievances might exist with our government, our country, or our way of life, violence is not the answer.”
The first person whom Patel referenced was Laith Waleed Alebbini, a Jordanian citizen living in Ohio who was convicted in 2018 for attempting to fly to Syria and join ISIS one year prior.
In 2019, he was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].