ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Haris Qamar, 25, was arrested Friday on charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIL, a foreign terrorist organization.
Documents say that on May 26, Qamar and a FBI confidential witness (CW) discussed ISIL’s need of photos of possible targets in and around Washington, D.C. The photos were for use in a video ISIL was making to encourage lone wolf attacks in the D.C. area.
Qamar allegedly offered CW ideas of where to take the photos, including the Pentagon and other landmarks in Washington, D.C. that could be targeted for terrorist attacks.
On June 3, a conversation was recorded when CW and rode in a car and drove to area landmarks on the list Qamar created.
During the conversation, Qamar allegedly said “bye bye DC, stupid ass kufar, kill’em all”.
Qamar and CW met again on June 10 and drove Arlington to take additional photos for the ISIL video.
The FBI started to take notice of Qamar as he operated over 60 variations of the Twitter handle “newerajihadi”, which Qamar used to express his support of ISIL and share videos and photos of extreme violence, including beheadings and mass shootings.
After terrorists murdered employees of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in January 2015, Qamar tweeted his prayer for another similar attack with even more deaths.
Allegations say Qamar expressed his interest in the brutal violence ISIL is known for. He said he loved the bodies, blood and beheadings. He recalled watching a video of a Kurdish person being slaughtered and said he liked the cracking sound made when the person’s spinal cord was torn.
Qamar allegedly told CW that he could slaughter someone and described how he would do it. He also said he admired lone wolf attackers because they love Islam so much they are willing to die as martyrs. In the same conversation, Qamar said he “believed in [suicide bombings] 100 percent.”
On September 11, 2015, terrorists with connections to ISIL released a “kill list” on the internet containing the names and addresses of several U.S. military members. Qamar told CW that the homes of several people on the list lived near his own home, and that he saw undercover police cars near the residences.
According to the affidavit, on September 16, 2015, Qamar tweeted his prayer that Allah “give strength to the mujahideen to slaughter every single US military officer.”
The affidavit also alleges that Qamar told CW that he tried to join ISIL in 2014, but his parents stopped him from going by taking his passport. Qamar allegedly said his parents threatened to notify authorities about his activities. On November 18, 2015, Qamar said he would join ISIL if he father gave him back his passport.
Qamar faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress. His sentencing will be determined by the court based on Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.