Men in California and Pennsylvania tried to aid terror groups, feds say

Story highlights

  • Two U.S. residents where charged Thursday with attempting to support Islamic terror groups
  • Federal prosecutors indicted Jalil Ibn Ameer Azi, a 19-year-old teenager in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for "attempting to provide material support" to ISIS, according to the complaint unsealed Thursday.

Washington (CNN)Men in California and Pennsylvania were charged Thursday with attempting to support Islamic terror groups, federal authorities said.

Federal prosecutors indicted Jalil Ibn Ameer Azi, 19, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for "attempting to provide material support" to ISIS, according to a complaint unsealed Thursday. Prosecutors said Aziz was sharing ISIS rhetoric on social media through at least 57 Twitter accounts, through which he encouraged violence against the U.S.
He allegedly posted a hyperlink with the names, addresses and identifying information of 100 reported military members, calling for violence against them. Aziz also was allegedly helping people eager to go overseas to support ISIS.
    Authorities found a "tactical-style backpack" that held a knife, ammunition and high-capacity weapons magazines in Aziz's home. It was unclear if Aziz, who was scheduled to make a court appearance Thursday afternoon, had an attorney.
    In California, a man near San Francisco was charged after he allegedly tried to travel to help the Al Nusra Front terror group. Adam Shafi, a 22-year-old from Fremont, attempted to travel to Istanbul, Turkey, before authorities stopped him at an airport, prosecutors said.
    According to an affidavit released by the FBI, Shafi had a number of phone conversations with associates expressing his desire to "die with" the ANF.
    Shafi, who was arrested on July 3, was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, and has a bail hearing scheduled for next Tuesday.
    Attorneys for Shafi, Joshua Dratel and Erik Levin, maintain that he is innocent.
    "There is no evidence that he was planning to do anything but fly to Istanbul," they wrote in a statement Friday, arguing Shafi merely wanted to help Syrian refugees. "His intentions were never criminal nor violent, but instead sought to assist Syrian refugees that the world does not seem ready to help in any comprehensive fashion."