The FBI charged an English-speaking narrator who voiced recruitment videos for ISIS, including one showing the decapitation of James Foley

isis
ISIS militants.
  • Mohammad Khalifa, a 38-year-old Canadian, has been arrested and charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.
  • Khalifa translated and narrated 15 videos for the terrorist organization in English.
  • A criminal complaint says ISIS recruited Khalifa to its media bureau because of his fluency in English.
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A man who narrated a series of ISIS recruitment videos has been arrested and charged with conspiring to provide material support to the group, the Justice Department said on Saturday.

In a press release, the DOJ said the man, Mohammed Khalifa, is English-speaking and was recently transferred into FBI custody in Virginia.

He "not only fought for ISIS on the battlefield in Syria, but he was also the voice behind the violence," said Raj Parekh, Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

"Through his alleged leading role in translating, narrating, and advancing ISIS's online propaganda, Khalifa promoted the terrorist group, furthered its worldwide recruitment efforts, and expanded the reach of videos that glorified the horrific murders and indiscriminate cruelty of ISIS," Parekh continued in the statement.

Khalifa, 38, is a Saudi-born Canadian citizen who was an ISIS fighter, the FBI said. It's not clear how he will plead to the charges or whether he has an attorney.

A criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia alleges that Khalifa traveled to Syria in 2013 to join ISIS, which later recruited him to the group's media bureau because of his fluency in English.

"Khalifa played an important role in the production and dissemination of ISIS propagandaacross multiple media platforms targeting Western audiences," the DOJ said.

Media Khalifa worked "was aimed at enticing ISIS supporters to travel to ISIS-controlled areas to join ISIS or to conduct attacks in the West, including in the United States, on ISIS's behalf," according to the DOJ release.

Federal investigators found that he translated and narrated 15 videos for ISIS.

"These videos, containing English narration by Khalifa, were part of an ISIS media campaign promoting violence committed against U.S. citizens and other countries' citizens in order to incite further violence against the United States, allied nations, and their citizens," the release says. "The videos depict glamorized portrayals of ISIS and its fighters as well as scenes of violence, including depictions of unarmed prisoners being executed, depictions of ISIS attacks in the United States, and footage of ISIS attacks and fighting in what is described as Syria and Egypt."

Khalifa voiced a video that showed the decapitation of American journalist James Foley.

Other videos depicted footage of violence in European countries like France and Belgium. One of the videos includes a recording from Pulse Nightclub mass shooter Omar Mateen, the DOJ said, in which he pledged allegiance to the terrorist organization.

If Khalifa is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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