Federal Judge Limits Activities of Cleric Popular with ISIS

Image: Federal Judge Limits Activities of Cleric Popular with ISIS Michigan cleric Ahmad Jebril.

Monday, 07 Jul 2014 02:33 PM

By Jennifer G. Hickey

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A federal judge has placed limits on the travel and computer activities of a Michigan cleric popular with radical Islamic groups.

According to news reports, U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen issued an order on June 5 requiring Ahmad Jebril to remain within the eastern half of Michigan after he violated terms of his probation.

In 2005, Jebril was convicted of 42 counts of fraud of almost $400,000 and failure to pay income tax, USA Today reports.

Born in Michigan, Jerbril has become a "cheerleader" and "a benevolent father figure" to foreign fighters motivated by Islam, including the radical terror group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a recent report released in April by the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence.

The Centre's report says Jebril was is considered one of "the two most prominent of these new spiritual authorities" and while he "does not explicitly call to violent jihad," Jebril "supports individual foreign fighters and justifies the Syrian conflict in highly emotive terms."

They describe him as "eloquent, charismatic, and – most importantly – fluent in English."

While Judge Rosen did not place restrictions on what the cleric could say, he is being required to notify his probation officers of his use of social media.

Shortly after Jebril was released from prison in March 2012 after serving 6 ½ years, The Detroit Free Press reports that he told his followers that when their "brothers in Syria speak, everyone today needs to shut their mouth and listen, because they're proving themselves to be real men." 

The Detroit Free Press reports that Jebril did not disclose to authorities of his plans to speak at two universities and a mosque in North Carolina. Instead, he told his probation officer he was going to Raleigh, N.C., on Nov. 21-23, 2013, "for a short vacation to visit friends."

Rosen's order also instructs that Jebril must wear GPS technology to monitor his activities.

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