October 2 (WNN) — Federal prosecutors on Saturday dropped charges against a man accused of playing a key role in efforts to fight for ISIS and recruit the terrorist group.
One department, according to a criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Mohamed Khalifa, a Saudi-born Canadian citizen, was charged with conspiring to provide material aid to a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in had died. The statement of justice said. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-allied group involved in the ongoing civil war in the country, captured Khalifa overseas in January 2019 and recently handed him over to the FBI.
He reportedly served in key roles within ISIS, which began in 2013 and continued until its capture in 2019. Those roles included serving as an ISIS fighter and as an English-speaking narrator of several violent recruitment videos within the ISIS Media Bureau, the Justice Department statement said.
The series of recruitment videos, purportedly narrated by the Caliph, urge recruits who cannot leave their country to join ISIS to conduct home attacks. The video includes footage of ISIS attacks in Europe, including Paris, Brussels, as well as the French city of Nice. A video includes a recording of the voice of Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, who declares his allegiance to ISIS during the June 12, 2016 terrorist attack in Orlando, Fla.
The complaint also alleged that Khalifa assisted with the translation and narration of approximately 15 ISIS videos, including “Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun,” released in 2014 and “Flames of War II: Final Hour.” was released in 2017. The two videos are considered among the group’s most influential promotions. These two videos allegedly promoted violence against US citizens and people from allied countries.
The ISIS Media Bureau also released images depicting the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, US journalists taken hostage while Khalifa was working with the group, an FBI affidavit states. Other productions depict the killings of American aid worker Peter Kasig and two Japanese civilians.
“As alleged, Mohammed Khalifa not only fought for ISIS on the battlefield in Syria, but he was also the voice behind the violence,” Raj Parek, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in the statement. said. “Through his alleged leading role in translating, describing, and advancing ISIS’ online propaganda, Khalifa promoted the terrorist group, spearheaded recruitment efforts around the world, and glorified ISIS’ horrific killings and indiscriminate brutality. Expanded the reach of video.