Governor, neighbors react to arrest of Brownsburg teen attempting to join ISIL

(Provided Photo/United States District Court)

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) — The 18-year old Brownsburg man who is accused of trying to join ISIS will make a court appearance to determine if he will remain behind bars or be released on bond.

Neighbors of Akram Musleh said they had no idea that a potential Terrorist was living next door.

“It doesn’t feel good, you’re always aware that it could be there but you don’t think about being there in your neighborhood.” Greg McCracken said.

The FBI and the Brownsburg Police Department searched Musleh’s apartment at Brownsburg Pointe Apartments near North Green Street and 700 North in connection to the case.

“No community is immune from the threat that we face in this country of individuals that will be radicalized by Islamic extremist ideology and set about to do violence here or abroad,” Gov. Mike Pence said about the arrest.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has provided WISH-TV with a criminal complaint against Akram Musleh, stating that he provided material support and resources to ISIL. Federal documents state that Musleh repeatedly tried to purchase flights overseas, expressed his interest to be in an ISIL propaganda video and purchased an ISIL flag.

Court documents indicate that Musleh first came on the radar of investigators back in 2013 when he posted videos of Anwar Al-Alwaki to YouTube. FBI officials met with Musleh and school officials at Brownsburg High School on Dec. 11, 2013 to dissuade him from “engaging in radical extremism.”

Nine months later, Musleh purchased an ISIL flag online and appears in a photograph with it.

In April of 2015, the Brownsburg Police Department responded to Williams Park, where it had been alleged that people were asking kids at the park if they wanted to join Daesh. The FBI determined that Musleh was one of those people.

On June 23, Musleh attempted to travel to Istanbul. Customs and Border Protection interviewed Musleh and did not let him travel based on his current passport due to Turkey requiring a minimum of six months validity on passports. The FBI searched his baggage and electronic devices and found a journal with quotes from individuals with known terrorist times, including Osama bin Laden.

On May 9, an FBI agent observed Musleh shopping for pressure cookers at the Wal-Mart in Brownsburg. Musleh did not make a purchase.

Electronic conversations indicate Musleh intended to leave the U.S. to join ISIL.

Musleh had purchased a one-way ticket Morocco to John F. Kennedy airport in New York for July 21.

Musleh was arrested by the FBI Tuesday at a Greyhound bus station in Indianapolis.

“It’s concerning to me, the fact that it’s here and my son being here and my other kids, something like that being here is shocking to me,” another neighbor said.

Musleh could face up to 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised released and a $250,000 fine if he is convicted.

“You’re always worried and concerned that there might be more out there but you just have to take everyday and just keep your eyes open, and if you find something report it,” McCracken added.

Comments are closed.