An Iraqi American was arrested Thursday for pledging allegiance to al-Baghdadi and ISIS.
Bilal Abood, who has spoken to News 8 over the past few months about his interactions with the FBI, has said that he worked as an interpreter for the U.S. Army, but that could not be immediately confirmed.
NBC DFW reported:
A Mesquite, Texas, man who pledged allegiance to ISIS and lied to the FBI about it was arrested on Thursday, according to a criminal complaint.
Bilal Abood, 37, a licensed security guard, is charged with making a false statement to the FBI. He faces up to eight years in prison.
Abood was born in Iraq and migrated to the United States in 2009. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen, prosecutors said.
Abood tried to travel to Iraq from D/FW International Airport on March 29, 2013, but was not allowed to board the flight. He was interviewed by FBI agents, claimed he was going to visit family, and denied that he planned to fight for ISIS, the complaint said.
He later admitted he planned to go to Syria to fight with the Free Syrian Army against the government, the complaint said.
The following month, he left DFW for Mexico and traveled through various countries to get to Syria. When he returned in September 2013, he admitted to FBI agents that he had stayed in a Free Syrian Army camp and fought with the group, the complaint said.
In July 2014, the FBI obtained a search warrant to search his computer. The search found that Abood had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on June 19, 2014 and had viewed videos of atrocities such as beheadings and had tweeted information on al-Baghdadi, prosecutors said.
In his interview with FBI agents, he denied he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, and that denial was the basis of his charge.
It was not clear why agents waited nearly a year to arrest him.
Abood does not face a terrorism charge and there is no allegation he was planning any attacks in the United States.
Washington Free Beacon
Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange website will soon shut down because it is not financially viable, Americans for Tax Reform reports.
The exchange website will be shutdown despite $205 million in federal taxpayer funds. The migration to a federal exchange will cost taxpayers another $30 million.
According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser the Hawaii Health Connector will stop taking new enrollees on Friday and plans to begin migrating to the federally run Healthcare.gov. Outreach services will end by May 31, all technology will be transferred to the state bySeptember 30, and its workforce will be eliminated by February 28.
While the exchange has struggled since its creation, it is not for lack of funding. Since 2011, Hawaii has received a total of $205,342,270 in federal grant money from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In total, HHS provided nearly $4.5 billion to Hawaii and other state exchanges, with little federal oversight and virtually no strings attached.
According to ATR, with only 8,592 enrollees, the state spent $23,899 on each individual.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised President Obama on the “fast-track” trade bill, saying the Democratic commander in chief has “done his country a service.”
“I’d like to thank the President, too. No, you’re not hearing things. President Obama has done his country a service by taking on his base and pushing back on some of the more ridiculous rhetoric we’ve heard,” the Republican leader said. “He was right to remind everyone that ‘you don’t make change through slogans’ or ‘ignoring realities.’ ”
McConnell added that Obama “should be recognized” for his role in the trade fight.
His remarks are the latest example of the unusual political divisions created by the fast-track bill, which will allow the president to get trade deals approved by Congress with a simple majority vote and will prevent the deals from being amended.
Obama and congressional Republicans back fast-track, but most Democrats oppose it, and Senate Democrats voted against the White House earlier this week.
Republicans have used the division to criticize their Democratic colleagues over the trade bill. On Wednesday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said the trade legislation “isn’t the normal story of Democrats versus Republicans.”
“This isn’t a normal story of Democrats versus Republicans or Sen. Reid versus Sen. McConnell,” he said. “Oh, no, this is a story about Sen. Reid versus President Obama.”
Senate leadership struck a deal Wednesday on moving forward on the trade legislation, with senators expected to take a procedural vote on proceeding to the “fast-track” trade bill on Thursday afternoon.