A graduate of Berkeley High School in California, who reportedly told authorities he wanted to help ISIS kill 10,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area, pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday, while his attorney claimed he was a victim of the “system.” Fox News
ISIS Supporter Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Provide Material Support To Foreign Terrorist Organization And Identity Theft
SAN FRANCISCO –Amer Sinan Alhaggagi pleaded guilty today to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and identity theft charges, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The plea was accepted by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer. In pleading guilty today, Alhaggagi admitted, without a written agreement, he was guilty of all the charges pending against him.
During the hearing today, Alhaggagi, 23, of Oakland, Calif., admitted he knowingly attempted to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B. Specifically, Alhaggagi admitted that in October and November of 2016, he created Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts along with the Gmail accounts that were necessary to authenticate them for individuals he believed were ISIS supporters. ISIS was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States Secretary of State in 2014.
In addition, Alhaggagi admitted that in the Fall of 2016 he communicated with two individuals who asked him to set up social media accounts. Alhaggagi communicated with the individuals from his computer while he was in Oakland, Calif., and admitted opening several Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail accounts at their request. Alhaggagi admitted knowing that both of the individuals were ISIS sympathizers and that by opening the social media accounts he was providing a service to ISIS. According to government lawyers at the hearing, at least one of the individuals Alhaggagi opened accounts for was an actual member of ISIS.
Additionally, Alhaggagi admitted that on November 29, 2016, the day of his arrest, he possessed a device used to make counterfeit credit cards and that between July and August 2016, he used a credit card with someone else’s name to buy more than $1,000 worth of clothes for himself online.
A federal grand jury indicted Alhaggagi on July 21, 2017, with one count of knowingly attempting to provide services and personnel to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339B; one count of possessing an identity theft device, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(4); one count of unauthorized identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1029(a)(2); and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A.
Judge Breyer scheduled Alhaggagi’s sentencing hearing for November 20, 2018.
An Oakland man accused of plotting bomb attacks inspired by #ISIS in San Francisco and the East Bay pleaded guilty to several felony charges despite claims by his attorneys that he has no affiliation with terrorists.
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) July 18, 2018
Alhaggagi’s attorney, Mary McNamara, told the East Bay Times that Alhaggagi’s actions were “stupid mistakes” and he “had no intention to do anything.” She called the government’s action a “failed sting operation.”
“The government sent out an undercover agent to get Amer to actually do something, take a step toward a terrorist offense. This is really a case about what the appropriate sentence should be, and here is a young guy who is immature, said some stupid things online, and the FBI sent out their best people to try to get a sting operation going. He just wouldn’t do it.”
He faces a maximum of 47 years in prison. But McNamara told the Chronicle her client was “being slammed by the system” and hoped to get the sentence down to just six to seven years.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.