Knoxville Resident Arrested For Attempting To Support ISIS

( A resident of Knoxville was arrested in March for “attempting to provide material support and resources” to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) which is a “designated foreign terrorist organization.”

The man in question is 31-year-old Benjamin Alan Carpenter, who preferred to be known as “Abu Hamza.” Incidentally, Abu Hamza is the name of an Egyptian cleric who led the Finsbury Park Mosque in London. He is known for his extreme Islamist views and his prosthetic hook hand.

Carpenter was arrested on March 24 this year, and after a federal grand jury indictment was returned on his case, a detention hearing was held on April 5. A verdict is still pending and the trial is set for June 1 this year, but the case doesn’t exactly look complicated. United States District Judge Katherine A. Crytzer will decide Carpenter’s fate.

The man is alleged to have provided English-language translations of ISIS media propaganda. He provided the translations to someone he believed to be an associate in ISIS, but who was actually an FBI official.

Carpenter is alleged to be the head of Ahlut-Tawhid Publications, which is an international organization that translates and publishes pro-ISIS publications and materials.

The Department of Justice confirmed that the incident was investigated by the Knoxville Joint Terrorism Task Force. It consists of federal and state agents, as well as members of local law enforcement.

Interestingly, Carpenter fits the general profile of an ISIS supporter almost perfectly. A study from 2015 found that the average ISIS supporter in the United States is a 26-year-old male. The study was conducted by the Center of National Security at Fordham Law, and it found that roughly one-third of supporters of ISIS converted to Islam, and 81% had publicized their support for the terrorist organization on social media.

ISIS has largely disappeared since President Donald Trump took office. The extremist organization grew since the Iraq invasion began in 2003, and the remaining members of the organization now largely focus their terrorist activities on areas of Iraq and Syria.

Carpenter now faces up to 20 years in prison for converting the ISIS material.