Utahn posing as ISIS leader admits telling others how to plan terrorist attack

Utahn posing as ISIS leader admits telling others how to plan terrorist attack

(Scott G Winterton, KSL)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man posing online as an ISIS leader who advised others on how to carry out a terrorist attack, including instructions on making a bomb, has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges.

Murat Suljovic, 23, of Salt Lake City, admitted to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization in U.S. District Court.

In January 2019, Suljovic corresponded with an individual, identified in court documents as "Person A," who he believed was a follower of ISIS. He also believed Person A was helping another individual, referred to as Person B, who was also interested in conducting an attack for ISIS, according to a plea agreement.

Suljovic pretended to be an ISIS leader through an online persona. He gave advice about potential targets for a terrorist attack and how to plan an attack. He also provided a bomb making tutorial video to Person A to share with Person B, according to court documents.

Court documents don't say whether an attack was carried out.

Federal authorities were tight-lipped about the case when Suljovic was indicted in May, saying the case had potential national security implications and some of the materials were classified. Investigators seized at least 122,700 files under 62 folders on Suljovic's computer, court records say.

As part of the plea agreement, Suljovic agreed to forfeit a variety of computer and electronic equipment.

Suljovic, who remains in custody, faces up 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

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Dennis Romboy
Dennis Romboy is an editor and reporter for the Deseret News. He has covered a variety of beats over the years, including state and local government, social issues and courts. A Utah native, Romboy earned a degree in journalism from the University of Utah. He enjoys cycling, snowboarding and running.

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