Two United States citizens who were detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and recently transferred to the custody of the FBI have been charged with material support violations relating to their support for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and the members of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), made the announcement.
Emraan Ali, 53, a U.S. citizen born in Trinidad & Tobago, was charged in a complaint with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Jihad Ali, 19, a U.S. citizen born in New York, was charged in a complaint with conspiracy to provide material support to ISIS. Both defendants had their initial appearances today in federal court in the Southern District of Florida before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres.
According to the criminal complaints, in March 2015, Emraan Ali traveled to Syria with his family, including his son, Jihad Ali, to join ISIS. Both Emraan Ali and Jihad Ali received military and religious training and served as fighters in support of the terrorist organization. In addition to serving as a fighter, Emraan Ali served in various other roles in support of ISIS. Emraan and Jihad Ali finally surrendered to the SDF near Baghuz in March 2019, during the last sustained ISIS battles to maintain territory in Syria.
Assistant Attorney General Demers and Ms. Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the JTTF. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Del Toro and Jonathan Kobrinski, with assistance from Trial Attorney Elisa Poteat of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.