Zakaryia Abdin, 19, of South Carolina, pleaded guilty on August 6, 2018, to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
According to a press release from the Justice Department, Abdin began his efforts on Jan. 3, 2017, when he created a social media account to attempt to join ISIS. Abdin began to seek a handler to get him overseas to Syria or Egypt to make contact with ISIS. Unbeknownst to him, he ended up making contact with an undercover FBI employee. Abdin believed this person was affiliated with ISIS. These communications continued up until he was arrested.
“Abdin’s attempt to provide material support to ISIS by traveling overseas put American lives at risk,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers. “That is unacceptable, and I applaud the dedicated agents and prosecutors who stopped him and have achieved this successful outcome.”
Further, Abdin had extensive communications with the FBI employee. During the course of these online conversations, Abdin expressed continued loyalty to ISIS.
The FBI arrested the Abdin at the Charleston International Airport on March 30, 2017, when he attempted to board an airplane in order to travel overseas. The defendant’s intent was reportedly to travel overseas in order to provide material support or resources to ISIS.
“The most important job of government is protecting the people of the United States from harm, whether it comes from criminals or terrorists,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon.
“Once again, the Joint Terrorism Task Force has uncovered, investigated and prevented terrorist activity with roots in South Carolina,” said Special Agent in Charge Norris. “These results are made possible by the coordinated efforts of our federal, state and local partners, who are committed to sharing information and resources to protect our communities.”