US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for ISIS

2018-10-20 06:55
Handcuffs. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Handcuffs. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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A US citizen of Iraqi descent has been charged in Chicago with online coordination with the Islamic State jihadist group to recruit and encourage attacks, federal authorities said on Friday.

Ashraf al-Safoo was arrested on Wednesday in the Midwestern city and charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation.

The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance on Friday and was ordered held in federal custody.

Safoo is accused of disseminating "online propaganda promoting violence in support of (ISIS)," Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.

The naturalised US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with ISIS, authorities said.

He is accused of posting pro-ISIS "videos, articles, essays and infographics across multiple social media platforms, at the direction and in coordination with" the jihadist group, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Much of the propaganda allegedly promoted violent jihad.

The government's complaint made public on Friday included posts Safoo is alleged to have written online calling on others to "roll up your sleeves" to create online content in support of ISIS.

"Participate in the war, and spread fear," Safoo is accused of writing.

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