Local man accused of supporting ISIS is charged

Posted at 5:22 PM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 17:33:14-05

A Dearborn Heights man who is accused of supporting ISIS has been charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, purchased a .22 caliber revolver from a sporting goods store in Dearborn Heights on Oct. 5, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

When he bought the gun, Abu-Rayyan made a false statement on an ATF form where he checked "no" to a question that asked whether "the purchaser is an unlawful user of a controlled substance."

According to a release, he also tried to buy another pistol on Nov. 15 from a different sporting goods store, but couldn't due to pending charges. 

Abu-Rayyan has been the subject of FBI scrutiny since May 2015. During their surveillance of Abu-Rayyan, officials monitored his social media accounts. The affidavit states among the things they saw on his accounts were re-tweets of ISIS propaganda, including video of a Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive, men being thrown off high rise buildings, the beheading of Christians in Egypt and news of ISIS victories.

There were also posts directly from Abu-Rayyan that raised red flags, according to the affidavit.  One picture Abu-Rayyan posted shows him holding what appears to be a semi-automatic pistol and pointing his index finger up in a gesture common to ISIS supporters next to two other individuals dressed in camouflage.

Beginning in December 2015, an undercover investigator began interacting with Abu-Rayyan on social media. It was during this time that Abu-Rayyan revealed that he had an AK-47 machine gun. 

According to the affidavit, photos posted to Abu-Rayyan's Twitter account on November 29, 2015 show him firing an AK-47 and an AR-25 at a firing range. One of the photos is captioned "Sahwat hunting." According to the affidavit, Sahwat is a term for Iraqis who oppose ISIS.