An Ohio man, who was scheduled to start jury trial today, pleaded guilty Friday evening to one count of attempting to provide material support – himself, as personnel – to foreign terrorist organizations, namely ISIS and ISIS Wilayat Khorasan (ISIS-K).
According to court documents, Naser Almadaoji, 22, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen of Beavercreek, purchased a plane ticket for travel on Oct. 24, 2018, and was arrested at John Glenn International Airport after checking in and obtaining his boarding pass.
The defendant intended to travel to Astana, Kazahkstan, where he planned to be smuggled into Afghanistan so that he could join and receive military training from ISIS-K in support of both that terrorist group and ISIS. Almadaoji explained to an individual whom he believed to be an ISIS supporter that he wanted “weapons experts training, planning and executing, hit and run, capturing high value targets, ways to break into homes and avoid security guards. That type of training.” He began making travel plans in September 2018.
Prior to that, between Feb. 16 and 24, 2018, Almadaoji traveled to Egypt and Jordan for the purpose of joining ISIS’s affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula, ISIS Wilayat Sinai, another designated foreign terrorist organization, but he ultimately was unsuccessful.
Almadaoji told an individual posing as an ISIS supporter online about his proposed plot to start a conflict in the United States between the federal government and anti-government militias. He asked the purported ISIS supporter for a guide on how to make a car bomb.
In August 2018, Almadaoji also told the purported ISIS supporter that he was “always willing” to assist with “projects” in the United States.
Almadaoji recorded and sent a video of himself wearing a headscarf and pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS.
In addition, Almadaoji translated a purported ISIS document from Arabic to English, and he told his contact, whom Almadaoji believed to be part of ISIS, “Don’t thank me . . . it’s my duty.”
Almadaoji pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 31, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark J. Lesko of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; Acting U.S. Attorney Vipal J. Patel for the Southern District of Ohio; Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division; Special Agent in Charge J. William Rivers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Office; Director Alan J. Hill of Oakwood Public Safety; and Green County Sheriff Gene Fischer made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dominick S. Gerace and Nicholas A. Dingeldein for the Southern District of Ohio, and Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.