Repatriated ISIS fighter pleads guilty to terrorism charge, prosecutors say
A 23-year-old Dallas man pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge after allegedly spending five years handling communications for ISIS, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.
Omer Kuzu admitted that he left Texas with his brother, Yusuf, for Turkey in 2014 and was then picked up by an “ISIS taxi,” according to court documents. They then stayed in several “waiting houses” before ending up in Mosul, Iraq.
There, he and 40 others allegedly underwent five days of physical and weapons training led by ISIS instructors.
Kuzu was one of 1,500 suspected ISIS fighters that were captured in March 2019 by Syrian Democratic Forces. He was handed over to the FBI and was charged with conspiring to provide material support material to ISIS.
His sentencing is set for January 2021. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison.
“This defendant, an American citizen radicalized on American soil, pledged allegiance to a brutal terrorist group and traveled halfway across the world to enact its agenda,” Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said in a statement.
“The United States must do everything we can to prevent and deter this type of radicalization and prioritize prosecution of those that support the terroristic agenda of ISIS. I am gratified Mr. Kuzu faced justice in an American court,” she added.