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Oakland man indicted for allegedly trying to open social media accounts for ISIS

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An Oakland man was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury for allegedly trying to aid the Islamic State, which is known for public beheadings and other savagery, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

Amer Sinan Alhaggagi, who was arrested by the FBI in November 2016, allegedly tried to help the media savvy terrorist organization through social media accounts. The U.S. and it’s allies are currently fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“The indictment alleges that the services Alhaggagi attempted to provide included opening social media accounts for the use, benefit, and promotion of ISIS, and that the personnel he provided was himself,” a Northern District of California’s U.S. Attorney’s Office statement said.

Alhaggagi, 22, who according to court records spent time in Yemen, allegedly tried to set up the accounts in July and November 2016. If convicted, he now faces 47 years of prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count.

The statement did not include what types of social media he attempted to create. The indictment, which has been under seal, was not publicly available Friday. Some additional details from the case were included in court documents.

According to court documents, Alhaggagi met with undercover FBI agents on a number of occasions to plan a potential terrorist actions.

The counts against Alhaggagi include identity theft and providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Alhaggagi’s arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

The investigation included the FBI, the Berkeley Police Department and the Oakland Police Department, among other law enforcement organizations.

ISIS, a designated terrorist organization by the State Department, is a radical Islamic group that emerged in the wake of the U.S. partial military withdrawal from Iraq and subsequently took over large swaths of Iraq and Syria. It held those areas with a violent grip and used terror, rape and fear as tools for control. Since its initial emergence, affiliated branches have spread to places such as Libya and as far away as the
Philippines.

It’s Syrian capital, Raqqa, is currently surrounded by U.S. allied Kurdish forces, and its largest Iraqi conquest, Mosul, recently fell to Iraqi military hands.

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