A Muslim man who lived in Chicago was indicted on Friday for trying to join the Islamic State, but US officials believe he is currently in Israel.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff
A federal grand jury has indicted a former Chicago man for trying to join the Islamic State (IS) group.
Justice Department officials announced Friday that 21-year-old Faress Muhammad Shraiteh, a US citizen whom American officials claim is in Israel, is charged with one count each of conspiring to and attempting to provide material support and resources to IS.
Each count is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
The indictment alleges Shraiteh and two others conspired to join IS and traveled in May 2015 from Chicago to Egypt before flying to Istanbul, Turkey.
Shraiteh was denied entry there, while the two others were allowed in. The charges allege Shraiteh went to Israel, where he has family, and later told one of the other two that he planned join them in IS.
The indictment alleges that on May 28, 2015, Shraiteh “communicated with Individual B his plan to attempt to renew his passport in Israel” and rejoin them. Individual B, however, “was killed while conducting a suicide attack on behalf of ISIS,” according to the indictment, reported the Chicago Tribune.
Shraiteh’s social media presence included a profile photo in February 2015 of an image of two male lions, a common symbol used by jihadists and those who support them.
According to the Tribune, this indictment is the most recent episode in a string of cases involving Chicago-area men who allegedly sought to fight alongside the Islamic State or commit IS-style terror attacks in the US.
The cases include attempts similar to Shraiteh’s plan to travel to the Middle East, as well as a plot to kill around 150 soldiers at a National Guard armory.