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Dayton man, ‘perfect ISIS recruit,’ to be detained before trial

Published: Tuesday, May 02, 2017 @ 3:08 PM

FBI says their joint terrorism task force stopped the man boarding a flight in Cincinnati

Citing a “flight risk,” a federal judge Tuesday ordered the Dayton man accused of trying to fly to Syria to join ISIS be detained before trial.

Magistrate Judge Sharon Ovington ruled Laith Waleed Alebbini remain incarcerated without bond before his trial in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

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Neither federal prosecutors nor Alebbini’s federal public defender presented arguments. Ovington sided with the pretrial officer’s report that there was a “risk of flight.”

Alebbini, 26, admitted to trying to fly to Syria to fight for ISIS, according to court documents.

Alebbini said he was “the perfect recruit for ISIS,” according to documents detailing an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation using confidential sources.

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“We’re devoting all resources that are necessary in order to make sure that we’re doing our very best to follow up on all possible national security threats,” said Benjamin Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, after Alebbini first appeared in court last week. “There are people who — for one reason or another — develop a desire to go join fighting with foreign terrorist organizations overseas.”

Alebbini, a legal permanent U.S. resident who came from Jordan in 2014, faces one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, lifetime supervision and possible deportation.

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Last Wednesday, Alebbini was arrested without incident inside the Cincinnati/northern Kentucky airport before he got to the TSA checkpoint. He was ticketed for a United Airlines flight bound for Chicago and then connecting to the Middle East.

A subsequent interview at the FBI office in Cincinnati was audio and video recorded. Alebbini admitted he planned to travel to Turkey and Syria to fight for ISIS.

Alebbini’s Northlake Cooperative apartment in Dayton was raided by an FBI terrorism task force, but the search warrant affidavit documents have been sealed.

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On Jan. 23, the FBI and U.S. Secret Service interviewed Alebbini at the Turkish Embassy after he attempted to illegally enter that facility. During the interview, he admitted to posting pro-ISIS videos on his Facebook page.

“I am the perfect recruit for ISIS,” Alebbini said, noting that security at the embassy was lax and that, “(If) I had a bomb on me, I swear to God, three embassies would have gone down.”

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