Miami, Fl. — Two United States citizens who were detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and recently transferred to the custody of the FBI have been charged with material support violations relating to their support for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
Emraan Ali, 53, a U.S. citizen born in Trinidad & Tobago, was charged in a complaint with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2339B. Emraan Ali had his initial appearance today in federal court and his pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled on Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:30 P.M. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres.
Jihad Ali, 19, a U.S. citizen born in New York, was charged in a complaint with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. Jihad Ali had his initial appearance today in federal court and his pre-trial detention hearing is scheduled on Monday, October 5, 2020 at 1:30 P.M. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley.
According to the criminal complaints, in March 2015, Emraan Ali traveled to Syria with his family, including his son, Jihad Ali, to join ISIS. Both Emraan Ali and Jihad Ali received military and religious training and served as fighters in support of the terrorist organization. In addition to serving as a fighter, Emraan Ali served in various other roles in support of ISIS. Emraan and Jihad Ali finally surrendered to the SDF near Baghuz in March 2019, during the last sustained ISIS battles to maintain territory in Syria.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, George Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), made the announcement.
Ms. Fajardo Orshan and Assistant Attorney General Demers commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the JTTF. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Del Toro and Jonathan Kobrinski, with assistance from Trial Attorney Elisa Poteat of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.