GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A former Florida resident has been returned to the United States after traveling to Turkey and attempting to join the Islamic State group.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Gainesville announced Monday that Mohamed Fathy Suliman, 33, a U.S. citizen, has been charged with attempting to provide material support for a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
“Terrorists and would-be terrorists need to understand that no resource will be spared when it comes to protecting U.S. citizens and prosecuting those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations,” Lawrence Keefe, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said in a statement.
According to the criminal complaint, Suliman booked a one-way flight in June 2014 from Orlando to Alexandria, Egypt, with stops in Chicago, and Istanbul, Turkey. Rather than traveling on to Egypt, Suliman paid cash for a one-way airline ticket to the Turkish/Syrian border, officials said. Suliman was arrested by Turkish authorities and accused of illegally crossing into Syria.
A search of Suliman's emails revealed attachments that contained various audio files that consisted of messages calling for jihad, officials said.
A message seeking comment from Suliman’s attorney wasn’t immediately returned.