ST. LOUIS – Six Bosnian immigrants have been charged with sending money, weapons and other supplies to terrorists oversees, including fighters with the Islamic State group and al-Qaida in Iraq, the U.S. attorney's office announced Friday.
An indictment unsealed Friday in St. Louis said the defendants bought firearms, U.S. military uniforms, tactical gear and other equipment and shipped them to people in Turkey and Saudi Arabia who forwarded the supplies to terrorists. It also says the defendants collected money from supporters in the U.S. and sent that as well.
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.
The indictment alleges the conspiracy began no later than May 2013 and that the defendants used social media websites including Facebook to communicate in code.
All six people who are charged are natives of Bosnia who were living in the U.S. legally. Three are naturalized citizens; the other three either had refugee or legal resident status, according to the U.S. 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 U.S. attorney's office said five of the defendants have been arrested; the sixth is overseas.
Online court records do not list defense attorneys for any of the defendants. According to court records, the Hodzics had a first appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in St. Louis on Friday and the court said it would appoint attorneys for them.
In a news release announcing the charges, the U.S. attorney's office said charges of conspiring to provide material support and providing material support carry penalties ranging up to 15 years in prison. Conspiring to kill and maim people in a foreign country carries a penalty of up to life in prison.