Houston Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Join, Support ISIS
A Houston man faces up to 20 years in prison after admitting he tried to support ISIS. Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya (pictured), 20, pleaded guilty on July 8 to attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group. Beginning in August 2017, Damlarkaya conversed with other individuals he believed were fellow ISIS supporters, including undercover FBI agents and informants, about wanting to travel overseas to fight for the group in Syria or Afghanistan. He also discussed his intentions to attack non-Muslims in the United States if plans to travel fell through, admitting that his “dream” was to be a martyr, according to prosecutors. Damlarkaya provided details to ISIS sympathizers about how to build a bomb, specifically describing the use of triacetone triperoxide (TATP). He also offered information on constructing an automatic weapon while encouraging those who lacked the financial resources or experience for explosives or firearms to purchase a knife. Authorities arrested Damlarkaya in December 2017, during which time they searched his residence and discovered a machete by his bed that he previously claimed was for use against law enforcement during a raid. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 30.
South Carolina Man Charged in Bombing Cases at Government Buildings
Authorities charged a South Carolina man in a bombing at a county courthouse and the discovery of explosives at a state agency building. Michael Seabrooke, 34, was charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device and denied bond on July 10. Authorities arrested Seabrooke the previous morning following explosions at the Pickens County Courthouse on July 7. Police said two devices were intentionally set to detonate near air conditioning units outside the building, causing damage to windows on the lower level. Remnants of the devices “appeared to be characteristic of homemade pipe bombs,” according to police. The incident occurred after hours, and no injuries were reported. Police identified Seabrooke’s truck in surveillance video and located two more pipe bombs and Molotov cocktails in the vehicle. Authorities said he confessed to federal agents about placing the bombs at the courthouse, as well as throwing several destructive devices on the roof of the South Carolina Department of Social Services facility in Pickens County, prompting an evacuation. Seabrooke has expressed grievances over the past few years with law enforcement and government officials, including filing a lawsuit against the Pickens County Law Enforcement Center that was recently dismissed by a federal judge.
Ohio Man Convicted of Hate Crime Receives 30 Months in Prison
An Ohio man will spend two and a half years in prison for beating a man he believed was Jewish outside of a Cincinnati-area restaurant. Izmir Koch, 34, of Huber Heights, was sentenced on July 9 following convictions in December of violating federal hate crime laws and making a false statement to the FBI. While outside of the restaurant with companions in February 2017, Koch yelled that he wanted to “kill all the Jews” and “I want to stab the Jews.” A man who stepped outside of the restaurant responded that he was Jewish, and Koch punched and kicked him. The victim was not actually Jewish, but he had been with family and friends who were. He suffered a broken facial bone and bruised ribs. Koch spoke with the FBI following the incident and falsely stated he was not involved in the assault and had not made disparaging comments about Jews.