FBI: Mesquite Man Pledged Allegiance to ISIS Leader

Scott Gordon, NBC Dallas, May 14, 2015

A Mesquite, Texas, man who pledged allegiance to ISIS and lied to the FBI about it was arrested on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint.

Bilal Abood, 37, a licensed security guard, is charged with making a false statement to the FBI. He faces up to eight years in prison.

Abood was born in Iraq and migrated to the United States in 2009. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen, prosecutors said.

Abood tried to travel to Iraq from D/FW International Airport on March 29, 2013, but was not allowed to board the flight. He was interviewed by FBI agents, claimed he was going to visit family, and denied that he planned to fight for ISIS, the complaint said.

He later admitted he planned to go to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army against the government, the complaint said.

The following month, he left DFW for Mexico and traveled through various countries to get to Syria. When he returned in September 2013, he admitted to FBI agents that he had stayed in a Free Syrian Army camp and fought with the group, the complaint said.

In July 2014, the FBI obtained a search warrant to search his computer. The search found that Abood had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on June 19, 2014 and had viewed videos of atrocities such as beheadings and had tweeted information on al-Baghdadi, prosecutors said.

In his interview with FBI agents, he denied he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and that denial was the basis of his charge.

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