ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – A leading Islamic State media figure and foreign fighter has been charged in U.S. federal court in Virginia with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization resulting in death, federal officials said Saturday.
Mohammed Khalifa, a Saudi-born Canadian citizen who was a leading figure in the Islamic State of Iraq, was captured overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces in January 2019, federal officials said. He was recently transferred into FBI custody, at which point he was first brought to the Eastern District of Virginia.
“As alleged, Mohammed Khalifa not only fought for ISIS on the battlefield in Syria, but he was also the voice behind the violence,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Through his alleged leading role in translating, narrating, and advancing ISIS’s online propaganda, Khalifa promoted the terrorist group, furthered its worldwide recruitment efforts, and expanded the reach of videos that glorified the horrific murders and indiscriminate cruelty of ISIS.”
Khalifa served in prominent roles within ISIS starting in 2013 and continuing until his capture by the SDF in January 2019 following a firefight between Islamic State fighters and the SDF.
In addition to allegedly serving as an Islamic State fighter, Khalifa allegedly served as a lead translator in the group’s propaganda production and the English-speaking narrator on multiple violent recruitment videos.
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