The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force added a win under its belt on Wednesday after 19-year-old Zakaryia Abdin of South Carolina pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
Warnings by the FBI in January 2017 failed to deter one of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s (ISIS) newest recruits — less than two months later he was apprehended at Charleston International Airport heading to Syria or Egypt.
Wednesday’s guilty plea closes the books on a case that essentially began with Abdin’s pledge of loyalty to ISIS in 2014.
“The most important job of government is protecting the people of the United States from harm, whether it comes from criminals or terrorists,” said U.S. Attorney Lydon via a statement by the U.S. Department of Justice. “This case is an example of law enforcement doing exactly that. The threat to our safety continues to be very real. The JTTF did a great job in preventing this defendant from joining ISIS. He wanted to fight as a soldier committing acts of terror for ISIS and he didn’t care where he fought.”
“Let the brothers know I am coming very soon,” Abdin said to undercover agents on March 22, 2017.
A Jan. 20, 2017 meeting between Abdin and a special agent in Mount Pleasant made it clear to the man that ISIS was a designated foreign terrorist organization, but his plans continued unabated.
Abdin faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.