FBI arrests 2 Texans suspected of supporting terrorists
POSTED: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 10:38am
UPDATED: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 10:41am
Austin,Texas (KVUE) — Two Texas men are in custody Thursday morning, charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists.
Rahatul Khan is accused of attempting to join an al-Qaeda linked terror group in Somalia. Michael Todd Wolfe allegedly tried to join radical groups in Syria.
A swat team surrounded 23-year-old's Rahatual khan home in Austin. According to a criminal complaint, Khan used internet chat rooms to "spot and assess potential recruits for committing violent jihad overseas"
Michael Todd Wolfe, also 23, was arrested at Houston's George H. W. Bush airport before boarding a flight to Europe where he allegedly planned to later enter into Syria through Turkey providing "his services to radical groups." Wolfe referred to al Qaeda representatives as "righteous brothers," according to the criminal complaint. He even showed an undercover FBI agent a YouTube video of foreign fighters in Syria.
Wolfe discussed which militant group he should join, including the brutal Islamist group Isis, currently staging an offensive against Iraq. The Texas native also told undercover officers he had been physically preparing to join jihad by practicing "martial arts, running and cross-fit," the competitive sport which uses military style techniques.
Analysts believe as many as 100 American citizens have made the trek to fight in Syria. Last month, an American suicide bomber who grew up in Florida, set-off a massive truck bomb in at a Syrian military checkpoint.
Syrian jihadists tweeted several photos of the American before he took his life with bombs strapped to his chest. Social media is now one of the many ways al Qaeda recruits westerners to fight alongside radical Islamists,
The men, who are charged separately, face 15 years in federal prison and a maximum 250,000 fine if convicted. They are in custody awaiting a detention hearing Friday afternoon in Austin.