Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Michigan | ISIS | probation | insurance fraud

Popular Michigan ISIS 'Cheerleader' Poses Dilemma for Authorities

By    |   Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 06:24 AM

A popular American-born Muslim extremist preacher could be back online — unconstrained — by April 1 as his probation period after an insurance fraud conviction comes to an end, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Federal authorities have been closely monitoring the activities of Dearborn, Michigan cleric Ahmad Jebril, whose Islamic State-friendly message has made him one of the most popular Muslim figures among ISIS fighters from the West, according to the London-based Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence, the Journal reported.

Ahmad, who appears to be in his early 40s, and his father Musa Jebril were found guilty of defrauding insurance companies in connection with rental properties. The son served a federal prison sentence from 2006 to 2012 and has since been on probation restricting his travel, finances, and use of the Internet, the Journal reported.

Authorities are still trying to establish whether the cleric has told the truth about his ability to pay back over $200,000 in compensation. They also want a better understanding of where his money comes from. He faces more prison time if U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen finds he is lying under oath.

Experts said the preacher has been careful to promote ISIS values without going beyond the Constitution's protections of free speech. Jebril has some 27,000 Twitter followers and about 240,000 likes on his Facebook page.

He spent his early years in Saudi Arabia, completed high school in Dearborn and graduated Wayne State University. Along the way he picked up a theology degree in Saudi Arabia.

Prior to going to prison, Jebril was managing a website which served as a library of anti-American sermons by Islamist clerics in both English and Arabic, according to the Journal.

No one has accused Ahmad Jebril of acting on behalf of the Islamic State. He "does not openly incite his followers to violence nor does he explicitly encourage them to join the Syrian jihad. Instead, he adopts the role of a cheerleader," according to the Center for the Study of Radicalization, the Journal reported.

After Jebril traveled to preach at a North Carolina mosque without obtaining necessary permission, probation authorities required that he wear an electronic monitoring device to track his movements. They also intensified oversight of his computer use.

The Twitter account associated with "Shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibril" seems to have gone silent though followers continue to post his sermons. His most recent Facebook entry was posted in July 2014.

With the end of his probation his near-silence online could be coming to an end, the Journal reported.

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A popular American-born Muslim extremist preacher could be back online - unconstrained - by April 1 as his probation period after an insurance fraud conviction comes to an end, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Michigan, ISIS, probation, insurance fraud
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2015-24-26
Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 06:24 AM
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