Islam

Maryland imam praises ISIS beheadings

The FBI claimed the imam gave cash to Sebastian Gregerson, pictured here.

The FBI claimed the imam gave cash to Sebastian Gregerson, pictured here.  (Midland County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A Muslim cleric in Maryland, who has openly endorsed the Islamic State terror group and funded at least one Muslim convert who was arrested for buying illegal explosives, has not been charged or arrested because, according to authorities, he hasn't broken any laws.

Suleiman Anwar Bengharsa, an imam at mosques in Annapolis and outside Baltimore who also serves as a prison chaplain, has posted gruesome videos showing Islamic State fighters, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, beheading and burning alive their enemies and praised terrorist attacks overseas, The New York Times reports.

The FBI filed an affidavit in federal court saying that the 59-year-old imam gave $1,300 to a 29-year-old Muslim covert, identified as Sebastian Gregerson, in Detroit in June 2015, and the man used it to buy firearms and grenades.

Gregerson, who calls himself Abdurrahaman Bin Mikaayl, was arrested in July and indicted on explosives charges, the Times adds.

FBI agents suspect the two men were plotting terrorism, according to a court filing. "Based on the totality of the aforementioned information and evidence, there is reason to believe that Bengharsa and Gregerson are engaged in discussions and preparations for some violent act on behalf of" the Islamic State, an agent wrote.

Bengharsa received $902,710 in wire transfers in 2014 and 2015, according to court records. The documents also show he sent money three times to an unnamed person in Yemen, the Times says.

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