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June 20, 2014 3:53 pm

Two Texas Muslims Charged With Supporting Terrorism

avatar by Abha Shankar

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Two Austin area residents were charged in separate complaints with providing material support for terrorism.

One complaint accuses Michael Todd Wolfe (a.k.a “Faruq”) of planning to travel to the Middle East “to provide his services to radical groups engaged in armed conflict in Syria.”

In a meeting with government informants, Wolfe “indicated that he had learned that al Qaeda in Syria was training brothers from other countries (foreign fighters) and then sending the fighters back from Syria to their home countries to conduct terror attacks.” Wolfe indicated that Allah put jihad in front of people “to determine who the real men were.”

The investigation began last August, after Wolfe’s wife confided to an FBI informant that Wolfe “just wants to hop into Syria. He’s just ready to die for his deen [religion],” the complaint said. She indicated that “she wanted to support her husband’s goal of traveling to perform a violent form of jihad” as part of her hijrah – a religious migration to Muslim lands.

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Hundreds of fighters from America and the West are believed to have gone to Syria in recent months to wage jihad. Last month, Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha (also known as “al-Amriki) became the first American suicide bomber to die in Syria. Abu-Salha traveled to Syria and trained with the al-Qaida affiliated al-Nusra front.

A separate complaint alleges that Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 23, tried to recruit people in Internet chat rooms to wage violent jihad overseas.

Khan, a Bangladesh native naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 2002, was a full-time student at the University of Texas in Austin. He became active in a chat room in early 2011, calling himself a “jihadi.” Another participant turned out to be a government informant.

Khan “discussed guns, training, the war against Islam, his preparation for the Third World War, shooting, and getting the youth interested in the knowledge of jihad (inner struggle/holy war),” the complaint said.

He later introduced the informant to an unnamed coconspirator, who recruited the informant “to travel overseas for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad in Somalia,” the complaint said. Khan later introduced the informant to a second unnamed conspirator who faces similar terror support charges in South Florida.

The Florida man allegedly discussed possible ways to smuggle the informant into Somalia to join forces with the al-Qaeda-tied Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab. The coconspirator also mentioned the possibility of the informant “operating within the United States.”

Both Khan and Wolfe are in Federal custody and face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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