Gainesville man indicted for trying to join ISIS

This week a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging a former Gainesville resident with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced. 

The FBI arrested Mohamed Fathy Suliman, a former UF student, overseas last month and extradited him to U.S. soil to face the charges. 

Suliman’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the U.S. Courthouse in Gainesville. If convicted, Suliman faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the DOJ. 

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“Protecting national security is a top priority of this office,” said Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. “We are absolutely committed to deterring, disrupting and dismantling the plans of anyone who seeks to support a designated foreign terrorist organization. Together with our law enforcement partners, we stand ready to counter any threats to our nation or to our fellow citizens.”

Federal investigators say Suliman, a 33-year-old U.S. citizen who spent much of his life in Florida, traveled from Gainesville to Turkey in 2014 and attempted to enter Syria illegally to join ISIS. According to the indictment, Suliman did advance research on how to reach Syria and purchased a ticket to Egypt to hide his true intentions from friends and family.  

“This case illustrates our steadfast commitment and tireless efforts to identify and bring to justice those who threaten our national security by assisting those organizations and promoting violent extremism,” said said Rachel L. Rojas, special agent in charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.

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