An Ohio man was charged Wednesday with attempting to provide material support to the ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Naser Almadaoji, a 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Iraq, was arrested at John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. He planned to travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, hoping then to be smuggled into Afghanistan to be trained by the ISIS affiliate.
Almadaoji was questioned by Customs and Border Protection agents last February after a trip to Egypt and Jordan, an FBI affidavit attached to his criminal complaint said. He said he wanted to join the Peshmergan military in northern Iraq “to stop ISIS” and criticized the terrorist group for killing Muslims. But he also said American airstrikes had killed Muslims and the U.S. forces needed to leave the Middle East.
It isn’t clear what triggered it, but the FBI had a confidential source posing as an ISIS supporter contact Almadaoji in August via a messaging app. Almadaoji later told the informant he wanted to trigger a civil conflict between the U.S. government and anti-government militias: “…I imagined a scenario of the collapse of the US as a nation…. They have alot [sic] of weak spots 2 really weak spots that would ignite the deadliest civil war on earth if the right spots are poked.”
To trigger this conflict, he imagined planting child pornography on militia leaders’ computers, then tipping off the FBI to their presence. He also spoke of assassinating militia leaders.