Intelligence expert: Arrests of 2 terror suspects no coincidence

AUSTIN -- On Wednesday night, two Central Texas men remained in federal custody after they were arrested earlier in the day for alleged ties to terrorism.

University of Texas at Austin student Rahatul Kahn and Michael Wolfe, both 23, were arrested Wednesday by the Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Kahn was arrested at his parents' Round Rock home. Wolfe was arrested at a Houston airport with his family. Authorities said Wolfe tried to board a plane to Canada with his family.

What the FBI isn't saying is if the two men are somehow connected to each other.

"In all probability, there's an association. It may be one via chat room or email, or it may be one-on-one like we're sitting here chatting in the office. I don't believe in coincidences in this business," said Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at Stratfor, a global intelligence company based in Austin.

According to federal documents, the FBI made contact with Kahn three years ago in an online chat room.

Agents say it became clear Khan wanted to recruit terrorists. The FBI says Khan discussed guns, training, the war against Islam, his preparation for a third world war, shooting and getting youth interested in the knowledge of jihad.

Wolfe, whose last known address was an apartment in North Austin, was planning to engage in jihad overseas, according to the FBI.

Wolfe's wife told Investigators that her husband was ready to die for his religion.

"He's ready to die for someone, for something," she said.

Authorities believe Wolfe was heading to Syria through Turkey.

An FBI spokesperson tells KVUE that both men have detention hearings scheduled Friday afternoon in front of a federal magistrate.

Khan and Wolfe face up to 15 years in federal prison.

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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