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Wakefield man, 18, indicted for allegedly making an attempt to donate $705 to ISIS

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Mateo Ventura allegedly despatched reward playing cards to an undercover FBI agent posing as an ISIS operative.

An 18-year-old Wakefield man was indicted Tuesday and accused of making an attempt to donate cash to ISIS by sending lots of of {dollars} in reward playing cards to an undercover FBI agent he believed was linked to the terrorist group. 

A federal grand jury in Boston indicted Mateo Ventura on one depend of knowingly concealing the supply of fabric help or sources to a overseas terrorist group, federal prosecutors mentioned Tuesday. Ventura was beforehand arrested and charged by legal criticism in June and can seem in federal courtroom at a later date. 

He’s accused of donating $705 to help ISIS between January and Might 2023, performing U.S. Lawyer Joshua S. Levy’s workplace mentioned in a information launch. Prosecutors allege that Ventura offered a number of reward playing cards to somebody he believed was an ISIS operative, intending for the playing cards to be bought on the darkish net and the revenue despatched to ISIS “for warfare on kuffar,” or disbelievers. 

  • Wakefield man, 18, arrested for alleged plot to help ISIS with reward playing cards

In line with an affidavit filed by FBI agent Paul Lagno in June, Ventura communicated on-line with an undercover FBI agent about offering monetary help to ISIS and his want to journey overseas and be part of the jihadist group. He allegedly despatched about $965 in reward playing cards to the agent whereas nonetheless a juvenile and $705 as an grownup, although he’s presently solely charged in reference to the cash he despatched after he turned 18.

Ventura allegedly despatched an audio recording pledging allegiance to ISIS’s chief and instructed the secret agent in one other message that he had “talent in weapons” and “would perform shaheed [martyr] operation if wished.” 

In line with the affidavit, Ventura booked six flights overseas on Feb. 28, although he by no means paid for them and the airline didn’t situation the tickets. He later bought a ticket to Cairo in April however didn’t depart residence and by no means canceled or rescheduled his flight.

Prosecutors allege that Ventura known as the FBI Boston Operations Heart a number of occasions and requested to talk with an agent about upcoming terror assaults, additionally sending an internet tip to the FBI’s Nationwide Menace Operations Heart requesting $10 million and immunity in trade for info he believed would cease an ISIS assault. He was ultimately instructed that the data he offered was not particular sufficient for authorities to behave, in accordance with the affidavit. 

William A. Korman, an lawyer for Ventura, instructed The Boston Globe that his shopper isn’t harmful, however is “troubled and wishes some vital psychological assist.”

“I feel it’s a disgrace that the federal government is taking this heavy-handed method to the case,” Korman instructed the newspaper. “Mr. Ventura clearly has some deep-seated psychological points, and that’s what this case is about. The tail is wagging the canine right here.”

Boston.com has reached out to Korman for remark. 

In line with the Related Press, Ventura’s father instructed reporters in June that his son has studying and developmental points and is being “railroaded” by federal authorities.

“My son mentioned, ‘Dad, I don’t perceive, I didn’t do something incorrect,’” when the FBI got here to the door and arrested him, Paul Ventura reportedly mentioned on the time.

If convicted, Mateo Ventura faces as much as 10 years in jail, as much as a lifetime of supervised launch, and a high-quality of as much as $250,000.