A 22-year-old Fremont man was indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday for attempting to join a terrorist group in Syria.
Adam Shafi was indicted in San Francisco for attempting to provide material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, namely, the State Department-designated terror group al-Nusrah Front, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.
Shafi has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is currently being held pending a Tuesday bail hearing.
In an affidavit unsealed Thursday, an FBI agent said Shafi had told a friend in June of this year that he was “content to die” with the terror group and described America as the enemy. In a wiretapped phone call several days later, Shafi had allegedly told a friend:
“I don’t have any blood in my books. I just hope Allah doesn’t take my soul until I have at least, like, a couple gallons of blood that I’ve spilled for him. At least, something like that… I just really hope so. How can I meet Allah when my face has no scars on it… I’m just so scared of that. Know what I mean?”
According to the affidavit, an FBI agent and Homeland Security agent intercepted Shafi as he attempted to board a flight to Istanbul on June 30. He was arrested four days later after the FBI found probable cause that he had tried to join the hardline Sunni Islamic terror group.
An attorney for Shafi declared the man innocent in a statement Thursday afternoon.
“There is no evidence that he was planning to do anything but fly to Istanbul, which is where he had been the year before for two days where he attempted to help the refugees and returned home,” attorney Joshua Dratel said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “There is no statement by him that he was intending to go to Syria or join any designated terrorist group. … His intentions were never criminal nor violent.”
A neighbor of Shafi’s Rakesh Sharma, told the Chronicle that the family seemed like “they’re a good, quiet, traditional Muslim family.”
“Just learning the news is a surprise and a shock,” he said.
Shafi faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted.