Ohio man arrested on ISIS charges
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An American citizen was arrested Friday morning after reportedly trying to aid the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Justice Department confirmed that Amir Said Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazi, 38, was apprehended in North Olmstead, Ohio, according to CNN.
Al-Ghazi, a convicted felon, allegedly possessed a gun and trafficked marijuana.
The report added that he was arrested in the Cleveland suburb Friday morning after allegedly promising he would support ISIS and trying to purchase an AK-47 for a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
“Today’s charge is a stark reminder that the radical and dangerous philosophies espoused by groups such as ISIL can be spread in our community through computers and social media,” U.S. Attorney Steven D. Dettelbach said in a statement, CNN reported.
“Law enforcement will remain vigilant in combating violent extremism in all its forms,” he added.
CNN said Al-Ghazi had attempted purchasing the AK-47 from an undercover FBI employee.
The suspect had begun vowing support for ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi on social media as early as 2014.
Al-Ghazi had then tried recruiting others for ISIS and filming propaganda for the extremist group, CNN said.
He had originally gone by the name Robert McCollum before changing it earlier this year.
The FBI’s Cleveland Division’s Joint Terrorism Task force is investigating the case.
CNN reported that Al-Ghazi’s arrest was the third this week involving Americans trying to support ISIS.
Authorities apprehended individuals for similar offenses in New York and New Jersey.
New State Department research released Friday shows that the number of terrorist attacks and citizens killed by them have both risen sharply during the last year.
It said the number of attacks between 2013 and 2014 was 3,463 worldwide, marking a 35 percent increase.
The number of citizens killed by terrorism peaked at 32,727 people, an 81 percent rise.