Homeland Security

Court Docs Say Michigan Man Arrested on Gun Charges Supported the Islamic State

A Detroit-area man arrested in August admitted to the FBI that he supported the Islamic State, new court documents filed last week indicate.

Yousef Mohammad Ramadan was stopped on August 15 at the Detroit airport as he and his entire family were scheduled to board a flight to Jordan. According to court documents, he told ICE officials and an FBI agent he intended to move to Bethlehem in the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank.

As I reported here at PJ Media at the time, Ramadan was indicted on gun charges and is currently being held without bond.

But new court filings in the case, including FBI search warrant affidavits, indicate that Ramadan admitted to being a supporter of the Islamic State. Filings also included pictures of an IED he had built, and reveal that he is tied to other ISIS-related terror cases.

The Detroit News reports:

An Ypsilanti man arrested by the FBI’s counterterrorism team in August said he was an Islamic State supporter, admitting he made pipe bombs and watched terrorist propaganda videos, according to federal records obtained by The Detroit News.

Yousef Mohammad Ramadan also boasted that committing a terrorist attack in the United States is easy compared to overseas.

Search warrant records offer new insight into a counterterrorism investigation shrouded in secrecy and help explain why Ramadan was removed from a Royal Jordanian Airlines flight in August at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

The records also reveal Ramadan is at the center of the latest counter-terrorism investigation involving a Metro Detroit supporter of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. His arrest in late August came days before terror suspect Sebastian Gregerson was sentenced to federal prison.

When Ramadan was detained and questioned by ICE and the FBI in August, he repeatedly lied about weapons he had stored at several storage facilities in the area. Among the items recovered by authorities were two handguns that had their serial numbers obliterated — a federal crime.

But the new court documents reveal what else investigators discovered when Ramadan was detained at the airport and when they searched his luggage:

Ramadan was trying to fly from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Amman, Jordan, on Aug. 15 with the ultimate destination of Israel, his lawyer wrote in a filing Wednesday. Before the plane could depart, investigators searched his checked baggage.

Inside, investigators found pepper spray, knives, a stun gun, black masks, two-way radios, a gas mask, a tactical vest and other items, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in federal court.

A secondary inspection uncovered numerous electronic devices, including laptops, iPhones and storage devices.

Investigators questioned Ramadan about the stun gun and other items found in the luggage.

“Ramadan could not give an answer and became very nervous,” FBI Special Agent Ryan Schanberger wrote in a search warrant affidavit […]

He acknowledged owning the items found in the luggage. Ramadan said he bought the items for personal protection and for making YouTube videos, court records show.

When they checked Ramadan’s electronic devices, they found a picture of an IED that he had made. According to the court documents, when investigators asked him how long it would take him to build such a device, he replied “about an hour.”

They also discovered Islamic State propaganda on his devices.

While Ramadan is not yet facing any terrorism-related charges, the case remains shrouded in secrecy and these new court documents provide the first evidence of his possible ties to other terror cases.

As I noted in my previous article following Ramadan’s arrest, Michigan has recently become a hotspot for ISIS-related activity.

On June 21, a Canadian man who had traveled from Quebec arrived at the Flint airport, where he stabbed a police officer in the neck while shouting “Allah akhbar” and ranting about Syria. The officer survived, and suspect Amor Ftouhi is being held on terrorism charges.

In May, we learned that a former FBI translator who worked in the Detroit field office went rogue, traveling to Syria in 2014 to marry a senior ISIS recruiter she had been assigned to track. Daniela Greene later returned to the U.S. and was arrested. She was given a relatively light two-year prison sentence in a case federal officials worked to keep quiet.

Dearborn, Michigan, is also home to Ahmad Musa Jibril, identified as one of the most influential pro-ISIS clerics in the West.

Earlier this month, the House Homeland Security Committee released its monthly terror snapshot. It notes there have been at least 483 plots, attacks, and arrests linked to Islamist extremism targeting the West since 2013.

It also notes that since 2013 there have been 149 Islamic-related homegrown terror arrests in 29 states.