News

Houston Man Accused Of Trying To Join Islamic State Pleads Guilty

Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya remains in custody pending sentencing in Houston and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defuses a bomb left by Islamic State militants at the stadium that was the site of IS fighters’ last stand in the city of Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.

A Houston man who planned to travel overseas and shared information on making bombs and using machetes has pleaded guilty to trying to join the Islamic State group.

Prosecutors say 20-year-old Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Damlarkaya, who is a U.S. citizen, was arrested in December 2017 following an undercover FBI investigation. He remains in custody pending sentencing in Houston and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Investigators say Damlarkaya shared information on making and using weapons with people he thought also supported IS. When agents arrested Damlarkaya, they executed a search warrant at his residence and found a machete by his bed. 

As part of his plans to join ISIS overseas, starting in approximately early August 2017, Damlarkaya had numerous conversations online with many individuals he believed to be fellow ISIS supporters, according to the Department of Justice.

During his discussions, Damlarkaya described his intentions to travel overseas to fight for ISIS in Syria or Afghanistan. He added that if he was unsuccessful in joining ISIS overseas, he would conduct an on attack on non-Muslims in the United States and that it was his “dream” to be a martyr.

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen accepted the plea on Monday and has set sentencing for Sept. 30, 2019. At that time, Damlarkaya faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 possible fine. 

Share