Federal inmate convicted of attempting to provide material support to ISIS

Published 12:06 am Saturday, December 14, 2019

BEAUMONT — A 45-year-old international terrorist serving time in the federal correctional facility in Beaumont was convicted Friday of additional offenses in the Eastern District of Texas.

Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, an Ethiopian natural born in Eretria, was found guilty by a jury of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, ISIS, and making a false statement to the FBI.

The verdict followed a seven-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Texas.

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“This terrorist has shown that he was committed to his ideology and to violence,” Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown said. “It was important to pursue these charges not only to keep him in prison, but to deter others who would recruit in jail cells.”

Ahmed was called a repeat offender and while in prison on terrorism charges continued to recruit fellow inmates to follow ISIS to train them to help them plan future attacks, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said.

“The threat posed by individuals like Ahmed is real and one we cannot afford to underestimate or ignore,” said Special Agent in Charge Perrye Turner of the FBI’s Houston Division. “The threat from ISIS continues to evolve to include sustained radicalization online, loss of the physical caliphate, and inspiration for individuals to conduct attacks in their home countries using any means possible. It is with any means possible and using all tools available to us that the FBI will continue to investigate criminal and national security threats to the United States, wherever they originate.”

According to information presented in court, in 2013 Ahmed was convicted in the Southern District of New York of conspiring to provide material support to and receive military-type training from a foreign terrorist organization.

Ahmed had attended an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan in 1996 and was a member of the Brandbergen Mosque network, which financially and logistically supported other terrorist groups.  A federal judge in New York sentenced Ahmed to 111 months in federal prison and he was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) in Beaumont to serve his sentence.

Ahmed continued his terrorist activities while serving his sentence at FCI-Beaumont. He recruited at least five inmates to join ISIS and to conduct terrorist acts in the United States after their release from federal custody, telling them that he was aligned with ISIS and supported al Shabaab and al Qaeda.

Ahmed wanted the inmates he was recruiting to either travel abroad to join ISIS, or create “sleeper cells” within the United States to carry out attacks.

Ahmed provided would-be recruits with a training manual on how to carry out violent jihad, including topics such as “how to carry out guerilla war,” “selection of human targets,” and “how to carry out assassinations.”

He even held physical training exercises with other inmates in the prison yard to get them in shape to carry out the acts of terror he was plotting.

Under the federal statute, Ahmed faces up to 25 years in federal prison at sentencing.