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US accuses 6 immigrants of helping Islamic State group


St Louis: Six Bosnian immigrants have been accused of sending money and equipment to terrorists oversees, including fighters with the Islamic State group and al-Qaida in Iraq, the US attorney’s office announced.

An indictment unsealed yesterday in St Louis said the defendants donated money themselves and in some cases collected funds from others in the US and sent the donations oversees.

It says two of the defendants used some of the money to buy US military uniforms, firearms accessories, tactical gear and other equipment, which was shipped to people in Turkey and Saudi Arabia who forwarded the supplies to terrorists.

The supplies and money eventually made their way to fighters in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, according to the indictment. Money also was sent to support family members of people fighting in Iraq and elsewhere, the indictment says.

All of the defendants knew where the money and supplies were going, the indictment says.

The indictment alleges the conspiracy began no later than May 2013 and that the defendants used email, phones and social media websites including Facebook to communicate using coded words, such as “brothers,” ”lions” and “Bosnian brothers.”

All six people who are charged are natives of Bosnia who were living in the US legally.

Three are naturalized citizens; the other three had either refugee or legal resident status, according to the US attorney’s office.

The indictment names Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40, his wife, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35, and Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis; Nihad Rosic, 26 of Utica, New York; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34, of Schiller Park, Illinois; and Jasminka Ramic, 42 of Rockford, Illinois.

All face charges of conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists and with providing material support to terrorists. Rosic and Ramiz Hodzic are also charged with conspiring to kill and maim people in a foreign country. The indictment says that last July, Rosic tried to board a flight from New York to Syria to join the fight.

The US attorney’s office said five of the defendants have been arrested; the sixth is overseas, but the Justice Department would not say exactly where.

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