Austin, TX, United States (4E) – Two Austin, Texas men have been arrested and charged with terrorism for recruiting Americans to fight alongside jihad rebels in Somalia and Syria, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
Rahatul Ashikim Khan, 23, was arrested at his home in Round Rock while Michael Todd Wolfe, 23, was arrested at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport on Tuesday before boarding a flight to Toronto, Canada and Europe. Both were formally charged before a U.S.
Khan was accused of conspiring with others to recruit jihadists from early 2011 until January 2012, according to a federal complaint.
Wolfe was accused of trying to travel to Syria to join rebels fighting security forces there, the complaint said.
They are facing up to 15 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine if they are convicted of the charges in federal court.
The FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force made up of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Central Texas worked together to bust Khan and Wolfe, U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman said in Wednesday’s release.
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 country. Another undercover FBI agent met with Wolfe and they discussed his plans.
Prosecutors claimed Wolfe planned to use some of their estimated $5,000 tax refund to pay for their travel.