U.S. Charges 88 People with ISIS-Related Offenses Since March 2014

GW’s Program on Extremism report shows three men arrested last month on allegations related to the terrorist organization.

June 6, 2016

Seamus Hughes

Seamus Hughes, deputy director of GW's Program on Extremism. (Logan Werlinger/GW Today)

By Kristen Mitchell

The number of individuals linked to ISIS arrested in the United States since March 2014 has risen from 85 to 88 with three people arrested last month, according to updated research from the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

The average age of those arrested is 26, and 88 percent are male. Prosecutors charged 44 percent of those with attempting to travel or successfully traveling abroad and 32 percent with involvement in plots to carry out attacks on U.S. soil.

More than half of those charged—56 percent—were charged in law enforcement operations involving informants or undercover agents.

The research is the latest in a series of monthly updates produced by the Program on Extremism following a December 2015 report that gave an extensive examination of Americans arrested for sympathizing with ISIS.

“The idea is to put everything in perspective,” said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. “We wanted to have empirical data to look at cases that is nuanced and looks at the facts.”

Approximately 38 percent of those charged are Islam converts, and the vast majority have been U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Thirty-seven of those charges so far have pleaded guilty or been found guilty, including three in the last month, according to report.

Here’s a look at the three people with ties to ISIS arrested in the United States in May 2016:

· Azizjon Rakhmatov was charged in an indictment with conspiring to and attempting to provide material support to ISIS and conspiracy to use a firearm and travel document fraud on May 11 in New York. Between August 2014 and February 2015, according to the indictment, the Uzbek citizen conspired with others to provide services and personnel to ISIS. The indictment says that Mr. Rakhmatov partially funded aspiring ISIS fighters’ travel to the conflict area.

· Alex Hernandez, an inmate at Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, Mass., was arrested May 20 and charged with two counts of threatening to kill the president. According to the criminal complaint, Secret Service agents learned in March 2015 that Mr. Hernandez allegedly told a fellow inmate that he wanted to kill the president “in a lone-wolf style attack” following his release. A search of his jail cell revealed images of the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden and members of ISIS holding assault weapons and the ISIS flag.

· Sajmir Alimehmeti, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Albania, was charged with providing material support to ISIS and passport fraud on May 24 in New York. Mr. Alimehmeti attempted to travel to Syria via London in October 2014 and December 2014, according to the criminal complaint, but was denied entry and sent back to the United States both times. Earlier this year, Mr. Alimehmeti attempted to assist an undercover FBI agent travel to Syria to join ISIS and told the agent that he and his brother had their own plan to join the terrorist group through Albania, which was derailed by his brother’s arrest in August 2015 in Albania.