Ohio man convicted of providing material support to ISIS

December 6, 2018

An Ohio man who tried to hop a flight to Syria and join the Islamic State was found guilty Thursday of attempting to support a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Justice Department said.

Laith Waleed Alebbini of Dayton was arrested in April 2017 at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport as he approached a TSA security checkpoint. The 28-year-old first popped up the FBI’s radar after he tried to enter the Turkish Embassy in D.C.

Court documents cite a text message exchange between Alebbini and a relative who pleaded with him not to travel, with Alebbini responding in separate messages: “Do you think I am a criminal,” “I am a terrorist,” “I am mujahid.”

After his arrest, Alebbini, a Jordanian national who became a permanent U.S. resident, waived his right to a jury trial and was found guilty in a bench trial before a U.S. district judge in Ohio.

Alebbani faces up to 20 years at sentencing, which is scheduled for March 8.

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