Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari

Charged: May 26, 2020
Affiliation
ISIS
State
Florida
District
Middle District of Florida
Sting
Yes
Involves Informant
Yes
Charges
  • Material support
FISA Notification
No
Awaiting Trial
Details
Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari
  • Age
    Unknown
  • Gender
    Male
  • Race
    Asian
Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari allegedly scouted out locations for an attack in support of ISIS. Al-Azhari, a U.S. citizen, spent three years in prison in Saudi Arabia for attempting to join a terrorist group, Jaysh al-Islam, in Syria. Following his release from prison in 2019, he returned to the United States. Starting in May 2019, the FBI discovered that Al-Azhari had consumed ISIS propaganda and spoken favorably of the terrorist group. Al-Azhari attempted to purchase gun components on eBay. The FBI then took over an eBay seller's accounts, and posing as the eBay seller, an agent communicated with Al-Azhari and offered to sell him a handgun, without registering the sale with the government. Court-authorized searches of Al-Azhari's internet activity revealed that he had visited ISIS propaganda sites on the dark web and had researched possible sites to attack in the Tampa Bay area. Al-Azhari suggested to an FBI informant that they could attack a police officer. "I want to join ISIS," Al-Azhari told the informant, according to FBI's affidavit. "They are the real followers." Al-Azhari was arrested after purchasing a gun and a silencer from the FBI informant.