Kafr Qasem Resident Indicted for Financing and Purchasing Weapons for Terrorist on Dark Web
Ahmed Sarsur is facing criminal charges for financing a terrorist group on the dark web. The 20-year-old was indicted by the office of the Central District Attorney after his attempt to acquire weapons and provide financial support to terrorists in Syria.
The Kfar Qassem resident has also been charged with attempts to illegally leave the country, trafficking, and possession of a knife with the intent to cause harm. He is also accused of being in communication with terrorist organizations via social media and other end to end encrypted and anonymous messaging platforms.
The accusations against him, prepared by Adv. Mor Sharoni, indicate that his associations with these terrorist organizations were for finding a way to be a part of the war in Syria. The accused is reported to have shown interest in traveling to Syria to be part of the Jihad. He was also involved in talks about acquisition of explosives and weapons.
Following the launch of a challenge by a Dutch activist that involved depictions of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, Sarsur was engaged in plans to shut the activist down. He was in liaison with an Al Qaeda sympathizer to help him orchestrate the dubious plans against the said activist. The accused was also talking with a member of a terror cell known as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, to whom he sent money several times in bitcoins.
In 2017, Sarsur had attempted to leave his country to travel to Syria to join other Jihadist groups. He had obtained a ticket to Turkey from where Hayat would smuggle him across the border into Syria and link him with one of the terrorist cells in the area. However, his mother intercepted his plans after learning of the mission behind the travel plans. She intervened and confiscated his passport, and thus managed to keep him from going to Syria.
According to court documents, between 2017 and 2018, Sarsur used the dark web to search for sites that support terrorism. He also looked for weapons and explosive dealers as well as for procedures detailing how to manufacture them. At one time, he attempted to purchase and smuggle potassium into Israel which was to be used in the making of a rocket. He had managed to get in touch with a dark web dealer and paid for the commodity using cryptocurrencies. However, the dealer was unable to ship the package into Israel. He also attempted to hire snipers retailing for about $14000 on dark web marketplaces.
The defendant is also accused of planning a knife attack against the faithful of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in March 2015. He is said to have bought the knife online which he intended to use to commit the crime. He walked to the mosque ready to carry out his attack. However, an acquaintance managed to convince him otherwise, and he dropped the strike altogether.
The suspect was arrested in his home after a raid by officers. During the raid, his efforts to liquidate his Facebook profile to conceal evidence were futile, which left the investigators with a chance to gather more evidence for having him convicted of his charges.