UPDATE: Man arrested in Augusta on terrorism charges
AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -
Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength says his deputies assisted FBI agents with the arrest of a terrorist suspect at a bus station in Augusta.
United States Attorney Kenyen R. Brown of the Southern District of Alabama and Stephen E. Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the Mobile Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that Mohammad Abdul Rahman Abukhdair, 25, and Randy Wilson, also known as Rasheed Wilson, 25, both U.S. citizens living in Mobile, were arrested today on terrorism charges filed in the Southern District of Alabama.
A criminal complaint signed on December 10 charges Abukhdair and Wilson with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, knowing or intending that it be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 956 (conspiracy to kill persons or damage property outside the United States) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2339A. The complaint also charges Abukhdair with passport fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1542. According to the complaint, the charges stem from Wilson and Abukhdair's conspiracy to travel from the United States to Mauritania intending to prepare to wage violent jihad.
Abukhdair and Wilson were the subjects of an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Mobile Division of the FBI. Wilson was arrested this morning in Atlanta attempting to board a flight that would ultimately take him to Morocco. Abukhdair was arrested in Augusta, Georgia at a bus terminal. According to the complaint, Abukhdair was scheduled to fly to Morocco from outside the United States on December 13.
The complaint alleges that Wilson and Abukhdair met online in 2010. On August 27, 2011, an FBI undercover employee met Wilson, and Wilson told the FBI employee that he and Abukhdair had formulated a plan to travel together overseas for the purpose of waging violent jihad prior to Wilson meeting the FBI employee, according to the complaint. In preparation for their travel, Abukhdair applied for a new passport and falsely claimed that his previous passport had been misplaced, according to the complaint. In fact, the complaint alleges, Abukhdair was concerned that Egyptian stamps in his passport might raise suspicions and impede his travel plans.
The complaint further alleges that in July of 2012, Wilson and Abukhdair also began meeting with a confidential source working for the FBI, and that Wilson and Abukhdair brought the source into their plans to travel overseas to wage violent jihad. According to the complaint, Abukhdair and Wilson planned to travel to Casablanca, Morocco, and from there to Mauritania, where they expected to be in a position to wage violent jihad in a nearby country or conflict.
U.S. Attorney Brown stated, "The top priority of the Department of Justice nationally, and the U.S. Attorney's Office locally, is to deter, disrupt, and prevent acts of terrorism. We will continue to defend our nation against anyone who seeks to harm us by investigating and prosecuting national and international terrorist plots. The law enforcement actions of today should send a clear warning to those who would consider engaging in violent jihad, either at home or abroad, that their future is bleak: they may end up in a US prison cell or a casualty on a foreign battlefield. This case should also generally serve as a reminder to all Americans to remain vigilant against terror threats. Thanks to the excellent work of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, any threat posed by these individuals has been prevented."
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richardson stated: "The efforts of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in this investigation represent our unwavering commitment to protect the United States against terrorist attacks domestically and abroad. Our resolve to protect our family, friends, neighbors and community ensures that we work diligently using every resource available to identify, disrupt, and dismantle extremists who desire to do us harm."
The Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Mobile division of the FBI conducted the investigation and presented the case for prosecution to the United States Attorney's Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Bodnar and Sean P. Costello and Trial Attorneys Clement McGovern and Annamartine Salick of the Department of Justice's Counterterrorism Section are handling the prosecution of the case on behalf of the United States.
A complaint is a determination by a United States Magistrate Judge that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until and unless he or she is proven guilty at trial.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Alabama at http://www.justice.gov/usao/als/
Sunday, May 19 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-05-19 22:18:38 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
UPDATE: Neighbors are shocked after two suspects shot three dogs in a New Ellenton neighborhood Saturday night. More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 4:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 20:20:12 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
Aiken County Coroner's office has confirmed that 32 year old Zann Worrell Jr. of North Augusta died at GRU Medical Center on May 18, 2013 at 3:37 p.mMore >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 3:11 PM EDT2013-05-19 19:11:10 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
UPDATE: Richmond County investigators said Tonya S. Terry was stabbed several times in the chest area inside the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Road Saturday evening.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:04 AM EDT2013-05-19 14:04:50 GMT
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road. Firefighters were on the scene until around 8:30 a.m. No injuriesMore >>
Richmond County dispatch received a call around 7:20 a.m. that the Millbrook Apartment building was on fire located off of Skinner Mill Road.
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:31:56 GMT
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech. Two of Creech's close friends, who go by Solo and Ruff, say they've been unableMore >>
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech.More >>