ALEXANDRIA, VA —
A number one Islamic State media determine and overseas fighter has been charged in U.S. federal courtroom in Virginia with conspiring to offer materials assist to a overseas terrorist group leading to loss of life, federal officers stated Saturday.
Mohammed Khalifa, a Saudi-born Canadian citizen who was a number one determine within the Islamic State of Iraq, was captured abroad by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2019, federal officers stated.
He was lately transferred into FBI custody, at which level he was first dropped at the Japanese District of Virginia.
“As alleged, Mohammed Khalifa not solely fought for ISIS on the battlefield in Syria, however he was additionally the voice behind the violence,” stated Raj Parekh, Performing U.S. Lawyer for the Japanese District of Virginia. “By his alleged main position in translating, narrating, and advancing ISIS’s on-line propaganda, Khalifa promoted the terrorist group, furthered its worldwide recruitment efforts, and expanded the attain of movies that glorified the horrific murders and indiscriminate cruelty of ISIS.”
Khalifa, 38, served in outstanding roles inside the Islamic State beginning in 2013 and persevering with till his seize by the SDF in January 2019 following a firefight between Islamic State fighters and the SDF, officers stated.
Along with allegedly serving as an Islamic State fighter, Khalifa allegedly served as a lead translator within the group’s propaganda manufacturing and the English-speaking narrator on a number of violent recruitment movies.
The criticism in federal courtroom additionally alleges Khalifa traveled to Syria within the spring of 2013 with the intent of changing into a overseas fighter and in the end becoming a member of the Islamic State.
He joined the group in or round November 2013 and swore allegiance to then-Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In early 2014, he was recruited to affix the group’s Media Bureau partly attributable to his linguistic capabilities as a fluent English and Arabic speaker.
Prosecutors say Khalifa performed an essential position in producing and disseminating Islamic State propaganda throughout a number of media platforms concentrating on Western audiences.
He targeted totally on engaging supporters to journey to Islamic State-controlled areas to affix or to conduct assaults within the West, together with in the USA, on the group’s behalf.
He additionally actively participated in armed hostilities on behalf of the Islamic State, based on the criticism.
The criticism alleges Khalifa assisted within the translation and narration of roughly 15 complete movies created and distributed by the Islamic State.
The productions narrated by Khalifa embrace two of probably the most influential and exceedingly violent propaganda movies, the criticism stated.
The movies, containing English narration by Khalifa, had been a part of a media marketing campaign selling violence dedicated in opposition to U.S. residents and different international locations’ residents with a view to incite additional violence in opposition to the USA, allied nations, and their residents.
The movies depict glamorized portrayals of the Islamic State and its fighters in addition to scenes of violence, together with depictions of unarmed prisoners being executed, depictions of Islamic State assaults in the USA, and photographs of assaults and combating in what’s described as Syria and Egypt, a information launch from the U.S. lawyer’s workplace stated.
If convicted, Khalifa faces a most penalty of life in jail.