On Wednesday, a 25-year-old man born in Dallas with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Turkey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism, namely the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Omer Kuzu was apprehended by the Syrian Democratic Forces in 2019 and given to U.S. authorities.
He had been conspiring with ISIS since 2011, and in 2014 went to Turkey with his brother, Yusuf. The two were smuggled into Syria via an “ISIS taxi.”
The brothers declared loyalty to ISIS in Raqqa, Syria, after they received five days of weapons and physical training in Mosul, Iraq with 40 other terrorists.
After being given an AK-47, Kuzu worked in Syria at the terrorist organization’s telecommunications center.
He also “took” an ISIS bride and had a child with her, according to the official factual resume.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox emphasized that Kuzu became devoted to ISIS in North Texas.
“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,” Cox said.
“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. I am gratified Mr. Kuzu faced justice in an American court.”
Kuzu faces 20 years of imprisonment, meaning he could be released at the age of 45 even if he is given the maximum penalty. His sentencing is scheduled for January 22, 2021.
In January, the U.S. Department of State posted a statement from the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS that indicated the terrorist organization, even though it no longer “controls territory,” is “adapting its methods to the situation as it evolves and hopes to use regional instabilities as an opportunity to conduct attacks and reemerge in Iraq and in Syria.”
Below is the factual resume in the federal criminal case against Omer Kuzu.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.