Oregon man pleads guilty to terrorism charges for supporting ISIS

By Conrad Wilson (OPB)
June 14, 2023 12:02 a.m.

A resident of Troutdale pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal terrorism charge for his role in supporting the Islamic State while residing in Oregon.

Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, 33, pleaded guilty to one charge of providing material support to ISIS, which announced a religious state in 2014 in parts of Syria and Iraq and was deemed a terrorist organization by the United States.

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Mothafar was indicted in 2020 and faces up to 20 years in prison.

In court, federal prosecutors said that Mothafar oversaw the planning and production of a pro-ISIS newspaper and produced videos and graphics promoting ISIS and advocating violence toward westerners.

“One of the graphics designed by defendant incited readers to attack and kill Westerners,” court documents state. A second graphic designed by defendant encouraged readers to conduct knife attacks against the enemies of ISIS.”

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Prosecutors say Mothafar “communicated directly with ISIS Central Media officials, from whom he regularly took instructions about media production.” Mothafar also encouraged people to travel to Iraq and Syria to fight for ISIS.

Federal prosecutors say Mothafar arrived in the United States in 2014 from Iraq. He spoke in court through an interpreter.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Marco Hernandez told Mothafar that by pleading guilty he waived his right to a trial.

“Which is another way of saying you’re going to have to live with the sentence I impose,” the judge said.

“I plead guilty,” Mothafar said through the interpreter.

“I accept the guilty plea,” Hernandez replied.

He ordered Mothafar to remain out of custody. He’s set to be sentenced in January.

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