Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Bilal Abood, Iraqi-American, traveled to Syria to aid terrorists, gets 48 months for lying to Feds.

Abood, using his Twitter handle @ibnalislaam: “I pledge obedience to the Caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”  

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA -  Bilal Abood, 38, of Mesquite, Texas, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas to four years in prison for one count of making a false statement to a federal agency according to announcement by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Thomas M. Class Sr. of the FBI’s Dallas Division.

Abood has been in federal custody since his May 2015 arrest by the FBI related to a criminal complaint.  He pleaded guilty in October 2015 to a one-count superseding indictment.   
Abood admitted that on March 29, 2013, he attempted to depart the United States at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, but was not allowed to board the international flight.  While at the airport, FBI special agents asked Abood about his planned travel and he stated he was merely planning to travel to Iraq to visit family.  During a subsequent interview, Abood admitted to FBI special agents that his intent was to travel to Syria to fight the regime of Bashar al-Assad.  
On approximately April 29, 2013, Abood left the United States through Mexico and traveled through various countries into Syria.  On Sept. 16, 2013, Abood returned to the United States and admitted to FBI special agents that he had traveled to Syria, but he denied supporting any terrorist groups.
A search warrant was executed on Abood’s computer on July 9, 2014.  A review of that computer revealed that on approximately June 19, 2014, Abood stated, while using his Twitter handle @ibnalislaam, “I pledge obedience to the Caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”  Abood admitted that he knew that al-Baghdadi is the self-proclaimed leader of ISIL and was designated as a specially designated global terrorist on Oct. 4, 2011, and remains so to date.
Abood also admitted that on April 14, 2015, FBI special agents advised him that lying to a federal agent is a crime.  He further admitted that on that date, he falsely told FBI special agents that he had never pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi and that he was aware that the agents were investigating a matter that they suspected could involve international terrorism.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Dallas Division.  The prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas with assistance from the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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