DAYTON, OH (FOX19) - The Dayton, Ohio man arrested at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport last month has been indicted by a federal grand jury on a charge of attempting to travel to fly to the Middle East to fight alongside ISIS.
Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, was indicted on one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday. Alebbini allegedly attempted to provide support in the form of personnel, namely himself, to ISIS
If convicted on the charge, Alebbini could face up to 20 years in prison.
Alebbini was arrested on April 26 at CVG after he obtained his boarding pass for a flight to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Prosecutors say that he is a legal permanent resident of the U.S. and that he was attempting to fly to Turkey or Jordan before joining up with Islamic State group fighters.
Alebbini admitted he intended to travel to Turkey and join the fight for ISIS, court records show.
He was arrested in January for unlawfully entering a Turkish embassy in Washington D.C., according to a 20-page affidavit filed in federal court. He said he wanted to speak with the Turkish ambassador about conflict in the Middle East.
The charges were dropped.
During an interview with federal agents shortly after the incident, Alebbini criticized the embassy's security for being lax, according to an affidavit. He said: "If I had a bomb on me, I swear to God, three embassies would have gone down."
While being interviewed by authorities, Alebbini admitted to supporting ISIS's desire for a united Middle East, but disagreed with their violent tactics, the sworn statement reads.
He also told agents he read ISIS magazines and posted ISIS propaganda on his Facebook page before it was taken down.
Court documents show Alebbini allegedly watches ISIS videos "all the time" and he believed the right place to be, from a religious point of view, was with the Islamic State.
Authorities say Alebbini destroyed anti-ISIS literature that was being handed out at a mosque.
The FBI let Alebbini go and continued to conduct surveillance on him via a paid informant who regularly met with Alebbini.
On March 2, the FBI contact Alebbini about him moving from Virginia to Dayton to be with his wife.
During the phone interview, Alebbini offered a follow-up interview with the FBI in person.
Agents did no seek to contact him again and did not revoke his travel rights.