Friday, September 17, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
More

    ISIS pledgee from California who represented himself in Brooklyn federal court found guilty by jury
    I

    Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

    Get Your Content. Daily.

    Be the first to know about the biggest stories as they break. Sign up for breaking news email alerts from Your Content.

    A pathetic pledgee for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham—otherwise known as ISIS—was found guilty today by a federal jury after a botched attempt to represent himself in court, Your Content has learned.

    Earlier today, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Bernard Raymond Augustine, a U.S. citizen and California resident, of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization ISIS. 

    - Advertisement -

    The verdict followed a one-week trial before United States District Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr.  When sentenced, Augustine faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Mark J. Lesko, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the verdict.

    “The defendant’s unvarnished testimony at trial demonstrates his ongoing support for ISIS and its glorification of barbaric acts of terrorism, including attacks on U.S. soldiers, the enslavement of Yazidi women and mass killings, which he described as ‘cool,’” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Kasulis. 

    “Today’s guilty verdict underscores the strong commitment of this Office and its law enforcement partners to combatting terrorism and protecting the United States from potentially dangerous threats to its national security.”

    - Advertisement -

    Prosecutors established evidence at trial proving that in February 2016, the terrorist hopeful traveled from San Francisco, California to Northern Africa, with the goal of joining ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization. 

    In the months leading up to his travel, the defendant watched ISIS propaganda, including videos glorifying ISIS’s violence, such as “The Flames of War.” 

    The convicted terrorist conducted internet searches for, among other things, “how to safely join ISIS,” and reviewed websites related to ISIS recruitment practices, including one titled “How does a Westerner join ISIS? Is there a recruitment or application process?” 

    Augustine also posted numerous statements in support of ISIS and violent extremism on the internet. 

    He posted statements such as “the Islamic State is the true Islam,” “Muslims who leave the west . . . answer the call for the struggle, and march until they are victorious or martyred are the true believers,” and the ISIS caliphate “can’t be established and maintained except through the blood of the mujahideen who practice the true belief.” 

    Augustine then purchased a one-way airplane ticket and traveled to Tunisia so that he could present himself as a willing participant in ISIS’s terrorist activity. 

    After arriving in Tunisia, Augustine was detained by local authorities before he could make it to ISIS-controlled territory across the border in Libya. 

    He was subsequently returned to the United States in 2018, where he was brought to the Eastern District of New York for prosecution. 
    Augustine represented himself at trial with the assistance of standby counsel. 

    The idiotic ISIS cadet took the witness stand in his own defense and his testimony included the following statements:

    • “I just want to tell the jury that I do not regret my decision, I’m proud of my decision and if I could go back and start over I would do it again, and if I became a free man tomorrow I would do it again, I would leave and I would do that again.  I have no regrets about it and I’m proud of it.  And I believe that all Muslims must immigrate to the Islamic State upon its establishment, especially ones living in the west.”
    • Augustine testified that he was aware that Islamic State fighters slaughtered members of the Yazidi ethnic group, and that he understood that the Islamic State enslaved Yazidi women.  
    • Augustine described the Islamic State propaganda film “Flames of War,” which he acknowledged contains mass killings, as “a really cool video.  You should watch the whole thing.”
    • Augustine testified that Islamic State propaganda showing holy warriors fighting and engaging in martyrdom and suicide bombings was “cool” and “hell, yeah, it was cool.”

    The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. 

    Assistant United States Attorneys Craig R. Heeren, Josh Hafetz and Jonathan E. Algor are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance provided by Trial Attorneys Phil Viti and George Kraehe of the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice. 

    The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided assistance.

    - Advertisement -