RALEIGH — The FBI has charged two men they say conspired and trained to exact violent jihad in war-torn Syria or Yemen.
Avin Marsalis Brown, 21, and Akba Jihad Jordan, whose age is not disclosed in court documents, face the charges following a yearlong undercover FBI investigation. Neither mans address is disclosed in court documents.
The federal investigation began when Brown contacted a confidential source by email and met with another person, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Joshua Cribbs filed in federal court. Brown told one source that he wanted to go overseas and fight, and he asked another how he should prepare to fight in Yemen or Syria, with communication continuing from May 2013 to this month, Cribbs wrote in the affidavit.
Jordan, who soon became involved in the conversations, frequently spoke about his weapons, which included an AK-47 rifle that he showed to one of the FBI sources, Cribbs wrote. Jordan had several full magazines for the weapon, along with a Mini-14 assault rifle and a sword, according to the affidavit.
Jordan apparently said he was considering violent acts either in the United States or abroad, the affidavit says. He functioned as a type of physical fitness, firearms and tactics instructor for Brown and an FBI source, the affidavit says. Both Brown and Jordan sought passports for the purpose of violent jihad abroad, Cribbs wrote.
Brown claimed to have a friend in Syria who was shot in the foot. Both men watched carefully when federal authorities arrested Basit Javed Sheikh, a Cary man suspected by the FBI of trying to provide support to an al-Qaida-affiliated group involved in the Syrian civil war.
Ultimately, Brown was able to obtain a passport, and he was arrested at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday. He told authorities that he had a ticket to Turkey and intended to travel on to Syria, according to the affidavit.
Brown was held Thursday at the Wake County Detention Center without bond, according to county records. Jordan is also in custody, but a spokesman for the regional U.S. Attorneys office declined to say where he was held.
Brown has a court appearance scheduled in Raleigh on Tuesday morning, according to a court order that scheduled a detention hearing and probable-cause hearing, but the federal government has requested a delay in Jordans case. Jordan underwent surgery on Wednesday and was hospitalized at the time of his arrest, according to a motion for miscellaneous relief filed by the government.
He is currently recovering from surgery at the hospital, and it is anticipated that he will not be discharged for three or four days, according to the motion.
Kenney: 919-829-4870; Twitter: @KenneyNC