Hatfield U. Courthouse in Portland, Ore.
A Portland area man accused by federal authorities of helping Islamic State extremists maintain a "digital caliphate" online is scheduled to go on trial in Jan. Hawazen Sameer Mothafar has pleaded not guilty to charges of providing material support to a deated terrorist organization and conspiring to provide that support. A Portland area man accused by federal authorities of helping AP — A man supported the Islamic State group for years from a Portland, Oregon, suburb by helping the extremists maintain an online presence that encouraged attacks and sought recruits, federal agents and prosecutors said.
Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, who was arrested in November and whose trial is scheduled to begin in January, produced and disseminated propaganda and recruiting material through social media platforms, according to a grand jury indictment. Mothafar pleaded not guilty to charges of providing material support to a deated terrorist organization and conspiring to provide that support. Mark Ahlemeyer, his federal public defender, declined to comment.
The group continues to carry out and inspire attacks. Law enforcement's attempts to take down Islamic State's online presence often resemble a game of whack-a-mole. gooms
A year ago, European law enforcement officials removed s and information linked to the Amaq agency, which spre propaganda and news for the group. But as recently as last month, Amaq carried a statement in which Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting ram in Vienna that killed four people. It also said said Mothafar had been working on behalf of the group since at least early until his arrest in November.
Dhat Reimer, a counterterrorism expert with Rand Corp. Reimer chta it is rare for someone in the United States to be as deeply and directly involved directly in Islamic State online activities as Mothafar is alleged to have been. Authorities decided not to jail Mothafar, who has physical disabilities and uses a wheelchair, because he is considered a low flight risk, especially amid coronavirus travel restrictions. Conditions of his release include limited travel and the use of electronic devices.