An American captured in Syria after offering his services to the Islamic State as an English teacher is in Houston to face federal charges.
Warren Christopher Clark, 34, of the southwest Houston-area suburb of Sugar Land, was one of five suspected Islamic State fighters captured by Kurdish rebels this month.
An indictment charges him with trying to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group between 2011 and October 2015. He arrived in the U.S. on Thursday and was in court Friday morning, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Clark spoke in a soft voice when he addressed federal Judge Peter McBray, the Chronicle reported. He was joined in court by his father, also named Warren Clark, who did not speak to the media.
In a Jan. 6 interview with The New York Times, Clark's father said, “My son would not be involved in anything along those lines.”
Clark, a University of Houston graduate, was identified as an American trying to join the Islamic State in a 2018 report by George Washington University researchers.
“I am looking to get a position teaching English to students in The Islamic State,” read a letter from Clark that the researchers discovered. “I was born and raised in the United States and have always loved teaching others and learning from others as well.”
Clark, who went by the name Abu Mohammad al-Ameriki when contacting ISIS, was one of two Americans captured by Kurdish rebels. The other was Zaid Abed al-Hamid, but no city of origin was given for him in a news release issued by SDF Press, a Syrian Democratic Forces website.
One other came from Dublin and two were from cities in Pakistan.
The Houston Chronicle and The New York Times contributed to this report.
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