FBI: Mesquite Man Pledged Allegiance to ISIS Leader | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

FBI: Mesquite Man Pledged Allegiance to ISIS Leader

Man arrested is linked to Free Syrian Army, feds say

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    A Mesquite, Texas, man who pledged allegiance to ISIS and lied to the FBI about it was arrested on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint. (Published Thursday, May 14, 2015)

    A Mesquite, Texas, man who pledged allegiance to ISIS and lied to the FBI about it was arrested on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint.

    Bilal Abood, 37, a licensed security guard, is charged with making a false statement to the FBI. He faces up to eight years in prison.

    Abood was born in Iraq and migrated to the United States in 2009. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen, prosecutors said.

    Abood tried to travel to Iraq from D/FW International Airport on March 29, 2013, but was not allowed to board the flight. He was interviewed by FBI agents, claimed he was going to visit family, and denied that he planned to fight for ISIS, the complaint said.

    He later admitted he planned to go to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army against the government, the complaint said.

    The following month, he left DFW for Mexico and traveled through various countries to get to Syria. When he returned in September 2013, he admitted to FBI agents that he had stayed in a Free Syrian Army camp and fought with the group, the complaint said.

    In July 2014, the FBI obtained a search warrant to search his computer. The search found that Abood had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on June 19, 2014 and had viewed videos of atrocities such as beheadings and had tweeted information on al-Baghdadi, prosecutors said.

    In his interview with FBI agents, he denied he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and that denial was the basis of his charge.

    It was not clear why agents waited nearly a year to arrest him.

    Abood does not face a terrorism charge and there is no allegation he was planning any attacks in the United States.

    Mesquite Neighbors React to Man's Arrest Tied to ISISMesquite Neighbors React to Man's Arrest Tied to ISISSeveral neighbors of the Spanish Meadows Apartments in Mesquite said they were surprised to see a massive law enforcement presence when they left their homes Thursday. (Published Thursday, May 14, 2015)

    Several neighbors of the Spanish Meadows Apartments in Mesquite said they were surprised to see a massive law enforcement presence when they left their homes Thursday morning.

    "There was a federal agent standing in front of my Jeep, and a federal agent over here, and a federal agent coming this way and there were 14 unmarked cars," said Rebecca Duckworth.

    A detention hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday. Abood is being held in federal custody. Attorney information for Abood was not immediately clear.

     

    NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.


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