Central Texas men arrested on terrorism charges

AUSTIN -- Two Austin-area residents have been arrested on charges related to terrorism.

The Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force on Tuesday arrested Rahatul Ashikim Khan of Round Rock and Michael Todd Wolfe of Austin. Both 23, they are charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, according to the Department of Justice.

The complaint charges that in 2011 Khan conspired to recruit people to travel overseas to support terrorist activities and violence. The complaint says Khan used an internet chat room to spot and recruit people for "committing violent jihad overseas." The complaint cites several instances in which Khan communicated with potential "recruits."

According to the complaint, Khan is a full-time student at the University of Texas. He was born in Bangladesh but became a U.S. citizen in 2002.

Investigators say Wolfe, a Houston native, planned to travel to the Middle East to help radical groups fighting in Syria. An arrest affidavit details how undercover FBI investigators developed a relationship with him and his wife, Jordan Nicole Furr, beginning in August of last year. They uncovered he had plans to travel to Syria and engage in jihad.

According to the documents, Wolfe's wife explained her husband wanted to go to Syria and was quote "ready to die for his religion." The undercover investigators told Wolfe they could help him with his travel plans.Wolfe spoke to them using code, referring to the trip as "a musical concert" in Europe.

Public Data shows an apartment complex on Scofield Ridge Parkway in North Austin as his last listed address. The couple have two children, but neighbors at the complex wouldn't say a word when we asked questions about the family.
The federal documents also explain Wolfe's concern over money and leaving his wife and children, but yesterday FBI surveillance caught them at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Wolfe purchased tickets for himself, his wife and their two children to travel to Denmark on June 17. The complaint says Wolfe intended to travel to Turkey and Syria after Denmark. Authorities arrested Wolfe at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as he attempted to board his flight.

Online records also show he has a criminal history of drug possession, theft and assault charges in Williamson County.

Khan and Wolfe face up to 15 years in federal prison. Both are in federal custody with a detention hearing scheduled for Friday.

The investigation involved the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in Central Texas.


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