Chicago gang leader charged with attempting to aid ISIS

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The leader of a Chicago-area street gang has been arrested and charged with attempting to aid the ISIS terrorist group, the Department of Justice said Friday.

Jason Brown, also known as "Abdul Ja'Me," allegedly gave $500 on three separate occasions in 2019 to a confidential informant Brown believed would then wire it to an ISIS fighter engaged in combat in Syria. The purported ISIS fighter was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, according to a DoJ news release.

Brown, 37, of Lombard, Illinois, was arrested on Thursday and charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

According to the criminal complaint, Brown is the leader of the AHK street gang, largely comprised of Muslim converts, and "actively recruits and radicalizes members and others to support ISIS." The 37-year-old was captured on audio and video recordings speaking with an informant about his intention to send money to "the brother," the complaint said.

Asked whether he wanted the purported ISIS fighter to know the money was from him, according to one video recording referenced in the complaint, Brown was observed pointing a finger toward the sky while holding $500 in cash. "Allah knows," he responded.

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Brown's arrest was followed by the arrest of seven members or associates of the gang on federal drug charges.

"AHK members trafficked various narcotics in the Chicago area, including a fentanyl analogue, heroin, and cocaine, and often boasted about the gang's activities on social media," said the release.

A detention hearing for Brown is scheduled for Nov. 21. He faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.