Houston Man Charged With Supporting ISIS, Helping Friend Travel To Syria To Join Terror Group

Following up on my report earlier today on the 40 terror-related arrests so far this year -- nearly double the number for 2013 and 2014 combined -- the FBI arrested yesterday another Houston-area man for conspiring to support ISIS.

Asher Abid Khan, a 20-year-old from Spring, Texas, planned to travel to Syria through Turkey to join ISIS, but was lured back home by his family who lied and told him that his mother was dying.

According to the FBI press release:

The criminal complaint alleges Khan and a friend devised a plan to travel to Turkey and on to Syria for the purpose of joining and waging jihad on behalf of ISIL. Khan had allegedly asked a Turkish-based foreign terrorist fighter facilitator that “I wana join ISIS can you help?” He also told someone else that “I wana die as a Shaheed [martyr],” according to the allegations.

Khan’s friend allegedly made it to Syria and ISIL with the assistance of Khan and the foreign terrorist fighter facilitator. Khan had been living in Australia with a relative and made it to Istanbul, Turkey, where he was to meet up with his friend in their quest to join ISIL, according to the complaint. However, Khan’s family sent him false information regarding his mother’s health and he was deceived into returning home to Texas.

Khan apparently made it onto the FBI's radar when his social media messages turned up in another investigation.

Heavy reports on his friend who did make it to Syria and joined with ISIS:

According to the press release, a friend of Khan’s who he conspired with was able to successfully travel to Syria and joined ISIS. He was not named in the release and was identified in the criminal complaint only as “S.R.G.”

The FBI alleges that Khan put his friend in contact with the Turkish-based ISIS facilitator so that the friend could join the terror group in Syria.

The complaint states that the friend goes by the name Abdullah Ali, and is a Mexican convert to Islam.

He is also from Texas, the FBI says. Ali’s Facebook page states that he is a Houston resident.

The FBI says his Facebook page included photos of S.R.G dressed in camouflage and holding what appeared to be an AK-47-style rifle. He told Khan he had gone through an ISIS boot camp, shot the rifle and “even fought a ‘(l)il bit,'” the FBI said in the complaint.

As I noted in my previous article today, the Islamic terror threat in the American homeland is metastasizing rapidly, due mainly to the recruiting and propaganda efforts of the Islamic State and the sheer number of thousands of foreign fighters pouring into the conflict in Syria.

But with many countries now actively preventing would-be jihadists from traveling to Turkey to link up with the ISIS and other terror groups in Syria, many are now looking for alternative fields of jihad. Reuters reports today on video they obtained of foreign fighters now having joined up with Boko Haram in Nigeria.

And, of course, would-be jihadists frustrated in their attempts to travel abroad are also looking to conduct terror attacks at home with the encouragement of ISIS and other terror groups.

Here's the full complaint in Khan's case:

Khan Criminal Complaint by Julian Hattem