PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal indictment has accused an Oregon man of advocating violent jihad in an online Arabic newspaper in support of the terrorist organization ISIS.
Federal authorities say 31-year-old Hawazen Sameer Mothafar was arrested Thursday.
Mothafar has pleaded not guilty to five charges related to accusations that he edited, produced and distributed ISIS recruiting material and propaganda from 2015 through Nov. 5.
Prosecutors say Mothafar produced stories on the online outlet Al Dura’a al Sunni, also known as Sunni Shield, such as one titled “Effective Stabbing Techniques.”
Mothafar’s federal public defender, Mark P. Ahlemeyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Associated Press.
“This defendant is a legal permanent resident of the United States who abandoned the country that took him in and instead pledged allegiance to ISIS and repeatedly and diligently promoted its violent objectives” US Attorney Billyl Williams said. “Our national security prosecutors and law enforcement partners will continue to ensure that those who threaten our country are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Portland Field Office and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ethan Knight and Geoffrey Barrow.
“The threat of ISIS-inspired terrorism remains very real thanks, in part, to an army of online supporters who produce propaganda that aims to incite ‘lone actor’ operators in the U.S. and around the world. Today, the FBI arrested one such man in our own community for his alleged role as a leading figure in the Islamic State’s media network,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “When it comes to cases like this one, a computer and a keyboard can be powerful weapons against enemies of the Islamic State.”