Indiana Teen Tried Joining ISIS, Faces Terrorism Charge

June 21, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2018

Akram Musleh, an 18-year-old from Brownsburg, Ind., was trying to board a bus from Indianapolis to New York when he was arrested by FBI on Tuesday, June 21.

Musleh allegedly planned to fly to Morocco, travel to a territory controlled by the ISIS terrorist group, join the ranks of the terrorist organization, according to a criminal complaint announced by the Justice Department.

“According to the complaint, Musleh attempted to travel overseas to join ISIL and to provide material support to the designated terrorist organization,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is countering terrorist threats, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of foreign fighters abroad and bring to justice those who attempt to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”

By May 2016, 88 people had been charged in the United States with ISIS-related offenses since the first arrests in March 2014, according to the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (CCHS) at the George Washington University.

The average age of those arrested was 26 and the vast majority are American citizens or permanent residents.

So far, 37 have been found guilty or have pleaded guilty.

“The radicalization of American citizens by terrorist organizations like ISIL is a threat to our safety here and abroad,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners but as in this case, we rely heavily on the public’s assistance to help make our community safe.”

There are active ISIS-related investigations in all 50 states, according to the CCHS. This appears to be the first one for Indiana.

If convicted, Musleh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

The prosecution is handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley Shepard and Doris Pryor of the Southern District of Indiana, and Trial Attorneys Paul Casey and Kiersten Korczynski of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.

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