The lure of Syria's jihad has landed another American under arrest.
Avin Marsalis Brown, who goes by the name Musa Brown, was arrested Wednesday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. He was trying to make his way to Syria – at least the third time this week an American has been detained in transit with the hope of reaching Syrian battlefields.
Brown, 21, is charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to provide material support to kill people abroad. Also charged is Akba Jihad Jordan, who was arrested in his hospital bed after an unrelated surgery.
Earlier this week, FBI agents arrested men from California and Michigan who also plotted to join terrorists fighting in Syria's civil war.
For the past year, an FBI affidavit said, the men discussed going either to Syria or Yemen for jihad. Brown sent an email expressing this desire last May. The recipient turned out to be an FBI informant.
Jordan focused on Syria because "he thinks the caliphate may start there and he wants to be a part of that," the affidavit said.
The men spent months talking about training and trying to arrange passports and travel. In late December, Brown said he was in direct contact with men in Syria and Australia. The Australian contact warned him to be careful "because a lot of 'brothers' have been getting caught," the affidavit said. Jordan studied patterns involving those who had been caught. Brown and Jordan later talked about creating a cover story for their travels to ward off any possible prosecution, making it seem they were on a charitable mission.
Brown and Jordan continued planning, saying they wanted to get away from America, the land of the kuffar (unbelievers). "BROWN said it is highly recommended that all Muslims go and fight jihad wherever it is needed," the affidavit said. In a separate conversation March 11, Jordan "said they should die in battle against the kuffar ... because it is the kuffar against Islam."
At times, they two also talked about waging jihad in the United States, but the complaint does not indicate that any specific plans were discussed.
Brown was arrested Wednesday at the Raleigh airport. After hearing his rights, he told agents he bought a ticket to Ticket and planned to go to Syria.