OH Man Charged for Attempting to Join ISIS, Following Airport Arrest

A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, of Dayton, Ohio, with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Alebbini allegedly attempted to provide support in the form of personnel, namely himself, to ISIS.

Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman for the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Division and other members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) announced the indictment.

Alebbini was arrested on April 26 at the Cincinnati/Kentucky International Airport and charged with the same crime by criminal complaint. He has remained in custody since his arrest. A citizen of Jordan, Alebbini is a legal permanent resident of the U.S.

(Learn More, courtesy of WCPO.com and YouTube. Posted on Apr 27, 2017)

Alebbini was arrested on Jan. 10 for unlawfully entering the Turkish embassy in Washington D.C., but the charges were later dropped.

Two days later, Alebbini tried to travel to Turkey via Amsterdam, but was denied entry because his Jordanian passport had expired, officials said. He returned to the U.S. on Jan. 15.

On Jan. 23, the FBI reportedly interviewed Alebbini about the incident at the Turkish embassy, where he allegedly admitted to posting pro-ISIS videos on Facebook and to supporting ISIS’s desire for a united Middle East.

Alebbini allegedly said during the interview that “I am the perfect recruit for ISIS,” but said he did not agree with their violence, according to court documents.

He said his reason for going to the embassy was to discuss the conflict in the Middle East with the Turkish Ambassador, the documents state.

“Alebbini said the security at the embassy was very lax, and that ‘if I had on bomb on me, I swear to God, three embassies would have done down,'” investigators reported in an affidavit.

Alebbini was not taken into custody following those FBI conversations.

Attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.

If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


The JTTF includes officers and agents from the Cincinnati Police Department, Colerain Police Department, Dayton Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, University of Cincinnati Police Department, U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, FBI, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Oakwood Police Department, West Chester Police Department and Cincinnati State Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the JTTF, as well as First Assistant Vipal J. Patel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominick S. Gerace and Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, who are prosecuting the case.