Connecticut man accused of supporting Islamic State group

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A 26-year-old Connecticut man who allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group’s leader has been charged with attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group in Syria, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Kevin McCormick, of Hamden, allegedly made several statements expressing a desire to travel to Syria and to fight for the Islamic State group. He was arrested on Oct. 21 after he attempted to board a flight out of the country, authorities said.

A message seeking comment from the public defender’s office representing McCormick was not immediately returned.

It is the second case this week of a Connecticut man charged with trying to support IS. Ahmad Khalil Elshazly, 22, of West Haven, was arrested Sunday as he attempted to leave the country by boat and charged with attempting to provide material support for a terrorist organization. The two cases are unrelated, according to a spokesman for Connecticut’s U.S. attorney.

A concerned person who attends an Islamic center outside Connecticut informed the FBI in early October that McCormick had expressed to them a desire to travel to Syria and “fight for Allah,” according to an FBI agent’s affidavit. The individual reported that McCormick cited religious doctrine to justify his reasons for wanting to fight, but he did so incorrectly.

McCormick, who was fired from his job as a truck driver in September, attempted to purchase a gun and a knife afterward from a store in Washington state. He told the sales clerk the gun was “not for an animal” and the clerk refused to sell him the gun, according to the affidavit.

A review of his Facebook page also revealed Islamic State videos and videos of McCormick firing a pistol at gun range, the agent said.

On Oct. 19, investigators say, McCormick made a video in which he pledged allegiance to Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He has been detained since his arrest after he traveled to a Connecticut airport to board a flight to Canada.

A week earlier, McCormick attempted to take a flight from Connecticut to Jamaica but was stopped by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He told another person that he intended to travel on to Jamaica and then Syria and that he wanted to acquire weapons and join the Islamic State group, prosecutors said.

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