Texas man pleads guilty to joining Islamic State in Syria

Sept. 2 (UPI) -- A repatriated Islamic State fighter originally from Texas pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge on Wednesday after joining the group in 2014.

Omer Kuzu, 23, entered a guilty plea to charges of conspiring to provide material support to terrorism, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.


"This defendant, an American citizen radicalized on American soil, pledged allegiance to a brutal terrorist group and traveled halfway across the world to enact its agenda. The United States must do everything we can to prevent and deter this type of radicalization and prioritize prosecution of those that support the terroristic agenda of ISIS," U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox said, referencing an abbreviated name for the terror group.

In his plea agreement, Kuzu said he and his brother, Yusuf, traveled from Texas to Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 16, 2014, and then traveled to Ofra where they were picked up in an "ISIS Taxi" and smuggled into Syria.

They later arrived in Mosul, Iraq, for combat and weapons training and pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Islamic Caliphate.


Kuzu was eventually sent to the second lines in Syria to provide communications support and work in the IS technology center before being captured by the Syrian Defense Forces in March 2019.

He is set to be sentenced on Jan. 22 and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

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