Six Bosnian nationals have been arrested and charged in the United States for allegedly sending money and weapons to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement on Friday. They are all charged with provision of material support to terror groups, and conspiracy to provide material support and resources.
"Today's charges and arrests underscore our resolve to identify, thwart, and hold accountable individuals within the United States who seek to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations operating in Syria and Iraq," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said in the statement. "Preventing the provision of supplies, money, and personnel to foreign terrorist organizations like ISIL remains a top priority of the National Security Division and our partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities."
The suspects allegedly sent weapons, military uniforms, money and combat equipment to a man named Abdullah Ramo Pazara, a Bosnian who traveled from the U.S. to Syria in 2013 to join ISIS. The suspects also allegedly transferred money to Turkey and Saudi Arabia to third parties who later wired it to ISIS.
Pazara has not been charged because he is believed dead. He reportedly communicated with the suspects through social media, bragging about his activities in Syria, which included killings and kidnappings.
The suspects have been identified as Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, his wife Sedina Unkic Hodzic, and Armin Harcevic -- all three reside in St. Louis County, Missouri; Nihad Rosic of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkiceviv of Schiller Park, Illinois; and Jasminka Ramic of Rockford, Illinois.
Ramiz and Nihad Rosic also face additional charges of conspiring to maim and kill persons in a foreign country. Ramiz allegedly provided tactical advice to Pazara and other fighters, and sent scopes and rangefinders to be used with sniper rifles. Rosic allegedly attempted to travel to Syria.
The suspects are all immigrants from Bosnia, and three of them had become naturalized U.S. citizens, with the others maintaining legal or refugee status in the country, the DOJ said. The suspects face up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Ramiz and Rosic, if found guilty of the conspiracy charges, could face life in prison.
The issue of Western support for terror groups like ISIS has been growing in recent months, and has been brought under the spotlight ever since a terrorist who declared his sympathy for ISIS shot and killed four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris.