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Feds: Ohio man trying to help ISIS arrested at CVG

Posted: 11:15 AM, Apr 27, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-28 04:16:03Z
Feds: Man trying to help ISIS arrested at CVG
Feds: Man trying to help ISIS arrested at CVG

HEBRON, Ky. -- Authorities arrested a Dayton, Ohio man Wednesday at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after they said he attempted to help ISIS. 

FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested 26-year-old Laith Waleed Alebbini and accused him of attempting to provide material support or resources to the foreign terrorist organization.

Federal investigators said Alebbini, a citizen of Jordan and permanent legal resident of the U.S., attempted to travel to Syria, via a flight to Turkey or Jordan, in order to fight with ISIS against the Syrian leadership.

Authorities became aware of Alebbini when he was arrested in January on charges of unlawful entry into the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. Those charges were dismissed, but he said, "You are going to regret this," while being escorted off the property, according to court records.

The FBI and Secret Service interviewed Alebbini about the incident at the Turkish embassy. During the interview, he admitted to posting pro-ISIS videos on his Facebook page and said, "I am the perfect recruit for ISIS," the special agent said in court records. 

Alebbini also said he supported ISIS' desire for a united Middle East, but that he did not agree with their use of violence, the special agent wrote. However, Alebbini also said security at the embassy was lax and that "if I had a bomb on me, I swear to God, three embassies would have gone down."

In March, Alebbini began having conversations with someone described in court documents as a "Confidential Human Source." During those conversations, Alebbini spoke in favor of ISIS, at one point saying: "You need a regime like the regime of [ISIS] right now. They come to exterminate the old regime. They don't leave anyone," according to court records.

During conversations with the confidential source, Alebbini also said Jordan would become part of ISIS and ISIS would "cut off the head of King Abdullah," the king of Jordan, according to court records. 

When the confidential source claimed to be facing deportation, Alebbini "spoke of the benefits of living within ISIS's borders, including cheap rent," and gave advice on how to cross into ISIS territory from Turkey, the special agent wrote.

Alebbini also said he found anti-ISIS literature brochures being distributed at a mosque, so he took them and threw them out, the special agent wrote.

He told the confidential source about plans to travel to the Middle East and indicated he planned to join ISIS and "fight in Jihad," according to court records. In one conversation, Alebbini said: "Our duty is to support the Islamic State. Those are the words, what is your duty? Jihad. A person is supposed to stay away from the people of sins ... and what happens, happens ... caught? Let them arrest you, then, let them arrest me. This is the true conversation."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security alerted the special agent that Alebbini had tickets to fly from CVG to Chicago Wednesday, and then to Turkey and Jordan. Authorities arrested Alebbini at the airport as he approached security at the airport.

During an interview after his arrest, Alebbini admitted that he planned to join and fight for ISIS, the special agent wrote.

Alebbini appeared in U.S. District Court in Dayton Thursday.

WCPO will update this story when more information becomes available.