A federal grand jury indicted a West Oakland man Thursday on terrorism charges for allegedly creating social media accounts and planning an attack in the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The defendant, 22-year-old Amer Sinan Al Haggagi, is charged with attempting to provide support and resources to a terrorist organization, and a federal court filing obtained by the Chronicle says Al Haggagi “went so far as to meet with undercover agents on multiple occasions to plan a potential terrorist attack.”

KRON 4 reports that Al Haggagi was actually arrested in November on separate charges of identity theft and buying nearly $5,000 worth of clothing on a stolen credit card. But a new indictment unsealed Friday “alleges that the services Alhaggagi attempted to provide included opening social media accounts for the use, benefit, and promotion of ISIS, and that the personnel he provided was himself.”

A separate court document obtained by ABC 7 says “Al Haggagi has made frequent trips to Yemen and has met with undercover agents on multiple occasions to plan a potential terrorist attack.” He also allegedly told agents he had plans to flee to Mexico following the theoretical attack.

Al Haggagi’s attorney, Mary McNamara, released statement to ABC 7 saying, “Amer is not anti-American and does not support ISIS or any other terrorist organization. He is completely nonviolent, and he took no actions to harm anyone. The evidence we have suggests these charges are based on internet chat conversations that he had with a number of unknown people. Amer is a very young and naïve man, and it appears he allowed himself to be drawn into conversations that he should have been far more suspicious of.”

For their part, Al Haggagi’s family also put out a statement. “We were shocked to learn of the accusations involving Amer,” they said, according to ABC 7. “Amer is not and has never been radicalized in any way. He grew up in this country and loves it here. He is peaceful and kind. He was very young and immature when he got involved in the online conversations that are the basis for these accusations. He did not think those conversations were serious and he never had any intent to harm anyone. We love him and continue to fully support him.”

If convicted, Al Haggagi faces a possible 47 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.

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