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Kissimmee man indicted for lying to FBI about ties to ISIS

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A federal grand jury has indicted a Central Florida man on three counts of giving false statements to a federal agency.

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According to the State Attorney’s Office, 22-year-old Moad Mohamed Benkabbou of Kissimmee was asked if he had ever talked about ISIS with a person who was known to the FBI. They also asked if he had ever pledged allegiance to ISIS or made plans to travel overseas to join them.

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According to the State Attorney’s Office, Benkabbou was lying when he answered no to each question.

Evidence presented during a detention hearing Thursday shows Benkabbou swore an oath to support ISIS in January of 2020 before making plans to travel to Turkey and Syria to fight for them.

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Investigators say Benkabbou went so far as to purchase plane tickets in August 2020 and January 2021 but later canceled both tickets.

On another occasion, investigators say Benkabbou shared ISIS propaganda videos with others, including videos showing the executions of American allies fighting against ISIS.

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According to the State Attorney’s Office, Benkabbou even shared a picture of himself dressed as an ISIS fighter captioned with the statement, “Hey crusaders, hey Jews, die within your rage.”

If convicted, Benkabbou faces up to eight years in federal prison. He’s being detained in a Central Florida jail pending trial.

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