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Federal jury convicts Tennessee man of terrorism charge

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On Oct. 19, following an eight-day trial, a jury convicted Benjamin Carpenter, 31, of Knoxville, Tennessee, aka Abu Hamza, of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, a foreign terrorist organization.

According to evidence presented at trial, Carpenter served as the leader of Ahlut-Tawhid Publications, an international organization of pro-ISIS “munasirin” (i.e., supporters), dedicated to translating, producing and distributing ISIS propaganda throughout the world. For years, Carpenter, using his alias “Abu Hamza,” published a large body of ISIS media, including his weekly newsletter “From Dabiq to Rome,” a periodical that, among other things, celebrated the deaths of American soldiers, glorified suicide bomber, and called for open war against the United States and its Western allies. In 2020 and 2021, Carpenter contacted an individual he believed to be affiliated with ISIS’s central media bureau and provided translation services for a project intended to relaunch Al-Hayat Media Center, ISIS’s official foreign-language media arm.

Carpenter faces up to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. He will be sentenced by the Honorable Katherine A. Crytzer, U.S. District Judge at a later date.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Special Agent in Charge Joseph E. Carrico of the FBI Knoxville Field Office made the announcement.

The Knoxville Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is composed of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, investigated the case, with assistance from FBI Field Offices across the country.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyle J. Wilson and Casey T. Arrowood for the Eastern District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Charles J. Kovats Jr. of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section represented the United States at trial.

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