An alleged Chicago gang leader has been charged with seeking to support the Islamic State group.
Jason Brown was arrested Thursday and charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, according to a Justice Department news release.
The charge could result in Brown serving up to 20 years in prison, if he is convicted.
Brown, who allegedly heads the AHK street gang, is accused of giving $1,500 that he thought was heading to the Islamic State group to an undercover officer.
He allegedly believed the money was going to a terrorist in Syria, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The gang’s name, meanwhile, comes from the Arabic word for “brother.”
Six other people allegedly linked to the gang were also taken into custody on federal drug charges, while a warrant was issued for another alleged gang member who has not yet been taken into custody.
A criminal complaint said that “on three separate occasions in 2019, Brown provided $500 to a confidential source with the intent that the $500 be wired to an individual Brown believed was an ISIS soldier engaged in active combat in Syria and in need of financial resources, but who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.”
Brown, who was radicalized while in prison, recruited other gang members in support of the Islamic State group, the complaint alleged.
The complaint, quoting an unidentified gang member, said Brown recruited young gang members using violent videos.
“When I came home from the joint, they were sending each other videos … like s— you ain’t supposed to look at, you feel me?” the gang member said. “They teaching the [young gang members] that they could do s— that I never heard nobody in my life say.”
Brown sought to establish an Islamic state, the complaint said. “You gotta establish the state … then you gotta have an army,” the complaint quoted him as saying, citing an undercover recording.
Brown wanted to fight with the Islamic State group in the Middle East, according to the complaint.
“Brown further stated that he knew he could not travel straight to Syria and that he believed that he would be imprisoned if he tried. Based on my training and experience, I believe Brown intended to use routes that would allow him to gain entry to Syria and ultimately reach ISIS,” the complaint said.
The complaint also said Brown supported violence for anyone disrespecting the prophet Mohammed.
“Brown also referred to beheading as an appropriate consequence for people who talk poorly about the prophet Mohammed, stating, ‘his head gotta go,” the complaint said.
Prosecutors said Brown revealed his plans to informants and undercover agents from March through October.
After he allegedly gave an informant $500 to send to the Islamic State group, Brown was asked if he wanted the terrorist supposedly getting the money to know Brown had sent it.
“Brown responded, ‘Allah knows,’ as he pointed his middle finger up in the air and smiled,” the complaint said, adding that “Brown further stated, ‘That’s the only one that needs to know [meaning Allah] as long as they get it. That’s it. … He’ll find out on, on that day.'”
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