Crime

DFW man fought alongside ISIS terrorists in Syria, Department of Justice says

A Dallas man was indicted on charges of conspiring to provide support to ISIS, the Department of Justice said Thursday.

Omer Kuzu, 23, was detained overseas by the Syrian Democratic Forces while fighting with ISIS fighters in Syria early this year, he told the FBI. He was transferred to FBI custody and returned to Texas, where a federal grand jury indicted him.

Kuzu was born in Dallas and visited Istanbul in October 2014 to join ISIS, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.

He told FBI agents that he and his brother were smuggled into Syria by ISIS and the terrorist group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The group gave him an AK-47 and paid him $125 a month to to repair communications equipment for ISIS fighters, the DOJ reported.

“There are few things more concerning to me than young Americans being radicalized by terrorists’ violent and hateful agendas while in the U.S., and then traveling abroad in order to fight for groups like ISIS,” said Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, in the press release.

If he is convicted, Kuzu faces up to 20 years in prison.

“The FBI remains committed to protecting the United States from all terrorist threats,” said Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno of the FBI Dallas Field Office in the release. “We aggressively pursue anyone who pledges allegiance to a foreign terrorist organization and will hold them accountable for actively supporting their violent agenda.”

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