Six individuals from St. Louis, suburban Chicago and upstate New York have been charged with providing support to radicals in Syria suspected of having ties to ISIS, according to charges unsealed tonight and law enforcement sources.
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The suspects include men and women of Bosnian descent, ranging in age from 42 to 26.
They are charged with conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists.
Among the items shipped by some of the defendants include firearms accessories, camouflage clothing, military boots, rifle scopes, gloves and other military gear.
Goods were allegedly shipped through the U.S. Postal Service to Istanbul, Turkey, and then smuggled into Syria.
Some of the suspects charged are believed to have been communicating with Abdullah Ramo Pazara, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bosnia who is believed to have been killed in 2014 in Syria.
“Before he was killed, he bragged on social media about killing numerous individuals and capturing prisoners that he and his counterparts intended to slaughter the following day,” a senior law enforcement official said.
The official emphasized that, “this is not a group being charged with plotting attacks here in the United States.” What it does show, according to sources, is that ISIS does appear to have a pool of support from people who identify with them, despite their barbaric acts.
All six suspects are natives of Bosnia who immigrated to the United States, federal officials said. Three have become naturalized citizens of the United States and three have either refugee or legal resident status. Five of the defendants are in the United States and have been arrested, while a sixth defendant is overseas.
Charged in the indictment are: Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis County, Missouri; Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34 of Schiller Park, Illinois; and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford, Illinois. They were all charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists. Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and Nihad Rosic are also charged with conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country.
“Today’s charges and arrests underscore our resolve to identify, thwart, and hold accountable individuals within the United States who seek to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations operating in Syria and Iraq,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin in a statement. “Preventing the provision of supplies, money, and personnel to foreign terrorist organizations like ISIL remains a top priority of the National Security Division and our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities. I want to thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors responsible for this case.”