A federal court in Kentucky unsealed an indictment today charging a dual U.S.-Bosnian citizen with providing material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. The defendant is also charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS and receiving military type training from ISIS.
According to court documents, on June 3, 2014, Mirsad Hariz Adem Ramic, 31, of Bowling Green, Kentucky and two co-conspirators each departed the United States for Istanbul, Turkey in order to support ISIS. All three then purchased tickets with cash to fly to Gaziantep, Turkey, a city located near the border with Syria. From there, Ramic and the two co-conspirators crossed the Syrian border to join ISIS.
As alleged, after joining ISIS, Ramic attended an ISIS training camp where he received weapons and physical training and fired an AK-47. The FBI obtained photographs of Ramic in ISIS territory which depict him wearing camouflage clothing and standing in front of a pickup truck outfitted with an anti-aircraft gun and the ISIS flag. A second photograph of Ramic depicts him holding a rifle.
After joining ISIS, Ramic and his co-conspirators remained in contact with each other and discussed, among other things, Ramic’s presence in Raqqa, Syria, and his use of an anti-aircraft weapon to shoot at planes. Ramic and his co-conspirators also discussed jihad, martyrdom and fighting for ISIS. After joining ISIS, one of Ramic’s co-conspirators sent two e-mails to Western Kentucky University, stating that he had traveled to Syria to join ISIS and expressing his desire that ISIS conquer the United States.
Ramic had been incarcerated in Turkey and was deported to the United States. He arrived in the United States Thursday evening and made his initial appearance in court this afternoon.
If convicted of the charged offenses, Ramic faces a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison, a fine of $750,000 and term of supervised release up to life. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division; U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky; Assistant Director Timothy Langan of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the Louisville Field Office made the announcement.
The FBI is investigating the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Judd and Christopher Tieke of the Western District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney Danielle Rosborough of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.