Six Face Terrorism Charges in St. Louis

     ST. LOUIS (CN) – Six Bosnian natives, including three from the St. Louis area, are charged with providing material support to terrorist groups, including the Islamic State Group and al-Qaeda.
     Charged in a federal indictment that was unsealed Friday night are Ramiz Zijad Hodzic, 40; his wife, Sedina Unkic Hodzic, 35; Armin Harcevic, 37, all of St. Louis County; Nihad Rosic, 26, of Utica, N.Y.; Mediha Medy Salkicevic, 34, of Schiller Park, Ill.; and Jasminka Ramic, 42; of Rockford, Ill.
     All are charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists.
     Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and Rosic are also charged with conspiring to kill and maim people in a foreign country.
     The indictment claims the conspiracy had begun by May 2013.
     It states that the Hodzics, Salkicevic, Ramic and others solicited money for fighters in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Prosecutors say the money was used to buy supplies, including U.S. military uniforms, combat boots, military surplus gear, tactical gear, range finders and rifle scopes. They and unnamed others sent more than $10,000 in cash and supplies to third parties in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, the indictment states.
     All six knew that the money and supplies were going to those “engaged in violent activities overseas, including conspiring to murder and maim persons,” the indictment states.
     “The indictment unsealed today epitomizes the FBI’s commitment to disrupting and holding accountable those who seek to provide material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations,” FBI Agent Charge Woods said in a statement. “This case underscores the clear need for continued vigilance in rooting out those who seek to join or aid terrorist groups that threaten our national security.”
     The conspirators used Facebook, email and phones to communicate, coordinate, rally support and update each other about the status of the fighters, using coded words such as “brothers,” “lions” and “Bosnian brothers,” according to the indictment.
     They used Western Union and PayPal to send money.
     All six are natives of Bosnia who immigrated to the United States. The crime of conspiring to provide material support to terrorist is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Conspiring to kill and maim people in a foreign country is punishable by up to life in prison.

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