Two men have been arrested in Texas and separately charged with terror-related offenses after federal agents said they planned to travel halfway around the world to engage in violent jihad.
One of the men, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen named Rahatul Ashikim Khan, allegedly wanted to join al-Shabab, a Somalia-based terror group linked to al Qaeda. For the other, Michael Todd Wolfe from Houston, learning to fight in Syria was allegedly the goal.
According to charging documents, Wolfe’s wife met an undercover FBI agent in August 2013 and told the agent she and her husband wanted to “perform a violent form of jihad” outside of the United States. She said Wolfe “just wants to hop into Syria. He’s just ready to die for his deen [religion]. He’s ready to die for someone, for something,” court documents say.
Over several months, another undercover FBI agent met with Wolfe, and they discussed Wolfe’s plans for going overseas, according to the court documents. On Jan. 22, both undercover FBI agents met with Wolfe and his wife, and Wolfe “indicated that he had learned that al Qaeda in Syria was training brothers from other countries (foreign fighters) and then sending those fighters back from Syria to their home countries to conduct terror attacks,” the FBI says in court documents. A month later, one of the FBI agents allegedly watched a YouTube video about foreign fighters in Syria with Wolfe and his wife.
They were planning to use some of their estimated $5,000 tax refund to pay for their travel, prosecutors say.
“Sunni kids should not play with Shias”
“My friend’s little brother says that some children won’t play with him because he is a Shia. Parents are teaching their kids that Sunni children should not play with Shias,” al-Bazoon told Yle.