A man in Mesquite, Texas, has been arrested and charged with making a false statement to the FBI after investigators discovered that he had allegedly pledged allegiance to an Islamic State leader.
Investigators allege Bilal Abood, 37, denied having allegiance to the Islamic State to the FBI, a claim they say was proven false after they obtained a search warrant for his computer and discovered he had posted messages about Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and viewed graphic videos of beheadings and other atrocities carried out by terrorists.
Abood, a licensed security guard who migrated to the U.S. from Iraq in 2009, could spend eight years in prison.
But Abood’s potential terror ties go deeper than just online activity. NBC DFW has more on the suspect’s background:
Abood tried to travel to Iraq from D/FW International Airport on March 29, 2013, but was not allowed to board the flight. He was interviewed by FBI agents, claimed he was going to visit family, and denied that he planned to fight for ISIS, the complaint said.
He later admitted he planned to go to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army against the government, the complaint said.
The following month, he left DFW for Mexico and traveled through various countries to get to Syria. When he returned in September 2013, he admitted to FBI agents that he had stayed in a Free Syrian Army camp and fought with the group, the complaint said.
However, the charges against Abood are not related to terrorism. Authorities have not accused the suspect of actively planning any terror attacks on U.S. soil.
You can read the full criminal complaint here.