Saturday, February 7, 2015

Six Defendants Charged With Conspiracy And Providing Material Support To Terrorists

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan of the Eastern District of Missouri and Special Agent in Charge William P. Woods of the FBI’s St. Louis Division announced that a federal indictment was unsealed earlier today charging six individuals with terrorist related crimes. 

Charged in the indictment are:  Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis County, Missouri; Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34 of Schiller Park, Illinois; and Jasminka Ramic, 42, of Rockford, Illinois.  All defendants are charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists.  Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and Nihad Rosic are also charged with conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country.

All six individuals are natives of Bosnia who immigrated to the United States.  Three have become naturalized citizens of the United States and the remaining three have either refugee or legal resident status.  Five of the defendants are in the United States and have been arrested.  A sixth defendant is overseas.

If convicted, the crimes of conspiring to provide material support and providing material support carry penalties ranging up to 15 years imprisonment for each count and/or fines up to $250,000.  The crime of conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country carries a penalty of up to life in prison.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

“Today’s charges and arrests underscore our resolve to identify, thwart, and hold accountable individuals within the United States who seek to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations operating in Syria and Iraq,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin.  “Preventing the provision of supplies, money, and personnel to foreign terrorist organizations like ISIL remains a top priority of the National Security Division and our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities.  I want to thank the many agents, analysts and prosecutors responsible for this case.”

“The indictment unsealed today epitomizes the FBI's commitment to disrupting and holding accountable those who seek to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations,” said Special Agent in Charge Woods.  “This case underscores the clear need for continued vigilance in rooting out those who seek to join or aid terrorist groups that threaten our national security.”

This case was investigated by the St. Louis FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Postal Inspection Service, St. Louis Metropolitan and St. Louis County Police Departments, with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Drake, Howard Marcus and Kenneth Tihen of the Eastern District of Missouri and Mara Kohn, a Trial Attorney in the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice. 

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.     

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