Father and son charged in US over joining ISIS

American man who was 14 when his father took him to Syria to join ISIS charged with aiding a terrorist group.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


An American man who was 14 years old when his father took him to Syria to join Islamic State was charged with aiding a terrorist group, US authorities announced Wednesday, according to AFP.

Jihad Ali, now 19, and his father Emraan Ali were repatriated to the US from Syria, where they were held since last year by the Syrian Democratic Forces, among hundreds of foreign fighters captured after the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) caliphate.

Both father and son were charged in Miami federal court with providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The father, a Trinidad & Tobago-born naturalized American, took his wife, New York-born Jihad, and five other children to Syria in 2015 to enlist in the extremist group.

The father had been inspired by the teachings of US-born Al-Qaeda preacher Anwar Awlaki, according to AFP.

Jihad Ali told FBI investigators last year that he was "excited to go somewhere new and see the world," according to court filings.

Later in 2015 he entered ISIS weapons and warfare training and was assigned to an ISIS battalion for English speakers, posting boasts of his joining the fighting on Facebook.

"Jihad described some of the training as cool and other portions as scary," the court filing said.

He and his father, now 53, were involved in several combat situations, and were joined by yet another of Emraan's sons, who was not identified by the US Justice Department and was younger than Jihad.

The three surrendered in Baghuz, Syria in March, the last stronghold of ISIS in Syria, and taken custody of by the SDF, allies of the Western anti-ISIS coalition.

Jihad and his father both appeared in federal court in Florida Wednesday, the Justice Department said. The charges carry up to 20 years in prison.

Since 2013, American prosecutors have charged hundreds of radicalized individuals, mostly with crimes related to support for ISIS.

Last month, a Texas man was charged with two counts related to making a bomb threat on the University of Houston after he "Zoom-bombed" an online class and praised ISIS.

In December of 2019, a Connecticut man was arrested after attempting to travel to the Middle East to join and fight for ISIS.

In July of that year, two refugees from Somalia were arrested in Arizona and accused of providing material support to ISIS.

A month earlier, a man was arrested after he discussed purchasing explosives with the intention of detonating them in New York's Times Square.