The second of two Raleigh men arrested in March in connection with plans to join Islamic State or ISIS in Syria pleaded guilty to federal terrorism charges on Thursday.
Akba Jihad Jordan, 22, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Jordan and Avin Marsalis Brown, 21, were arrested by FBI agents March 19 and indicted by a federal grand jury on April 1.
In a news release, U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker of North Carolina’s Eastern District said Brown and Jordan had told an FBI informant they wanted to join the extremist group known as ISIS to fight non-Muslims and others overseas and in the United States.
The FBI investigation began when Brown contacted the informant in May 2013. Brown claimed to have a friend who had been wounded in Syria, and he said he wanted to fight in Syria or Yemen.
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A federal affidavit said Jordan “functioned as a type of physical fitness, firearms and tactics instructor” for Brown, and both men talked about using weapons. A search of Jordan’s apartment uncovered an AK-47 rifle and other weapons.
Brown was arrested at Raleigh-Durham International Airport as he prepared to board a flight with a final destination in Turkey. Jordan, who lacked a passport, was arrested the same day.
Both men said they planned to join ISIS in Syria, according to prosecutors.
Jordan’s guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Robert B. Jones in New Bern followed a similar plea Aug. 12 by Brown.
“Akba Jordan turned his back on his own country and was willing to fight side by side with terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria who wish to do us harm,” John Strong, FBI special agent in charge for North Carolina, said in a news release.
Walker called the investigation “a sober reminder that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prosecute extremists who conspire to provide material support to foreign terrorist organizations.”
Brown and Jordan have not been sentenced. Each man could be punished by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.