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Dayton Man Accused Of Planning To Join ISIS

Laith Waleed Alebbini made a court appearance Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Dayton.

A 26-year-old Dayton man is accused of planning to fly to Syria to join ISIS. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Laith Waleed Alebbini at the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Alebbini was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Dayton on one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, the charge carries up to 20 years in prison.

The complaint says Alebbini is a Jordanian citizen with permanent U.S. legal status. The complaint says a confidential informant for the FBI recorded several conversations with Alebbini about his desire to fight for Islamic State.

"According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Alebbini had said that he would be the perfect recruit for ISIS," says Ben Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. "That was something that he said several months ago and the FBI has been following him since."

Glassman says Alebbini was taken into custody at the airport without incident and then made "inculpatory statements" to the FBI.

The investigation is ongoing. At least three other people are identified by their initials in the court filing, though Glassman wouldn't address their involvement or if they might also be arrested or any additional charges.

"There has been a search of the residence in Dayton but I'm going to refrain at this time from talking about any evidence that may have been recovered from that search as we are still in the process of conducting searches and the investigation is ongoing," says Glassman.

He would not say if Alebbini is cooperating with authorities or where he's being held other than to say he is U.S. Marshall custody.

"A detention hearing is set for next week, followed by a probable cause hearing the week after that," says Glassman. "Then I anticipate the grand jury will consider these charges in due course."

Alebbini was arrested in January for unlawful entry into the Turkish Embassy in Washington. Those charges were later dropped. Alebbini later told federal investigators he had posted pro-ISIS videos on his Facebook page, and said he was the perfect recruit for the group.

Court records show Alebbini moved to Dayton from Virginia in March, 2017.

Alebbini Complaint (003) by WVXU News on Scribd

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.
Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.