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    US Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Join, Support Daesh

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    A 20-year-old US citizen from Houston, Texas, has pleaded guilty to attempting to join and support Daesh, a US Department of Justice (DoJ) notice released Monday reveals.

    Between August 2017 and his arrest in December 2017, Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya tried to support Daesh by providing information to other Daesh supporters about how to make and use explosive materials, construct automatic weapons and use machetes, the release says.

    Damlarkaya was attempting to join Daesh overseas, according to the release, and beginning in August 2017, Damlarkaya had multiple conversations over the internet with other Daesh supporters, in which he described his desire to travel to Syria or Afghanistan to fight for Daesh. During those conversations, he also said that he intended to attack non-Muslims in the US if he found himself unable to join Daesh, because it was his “dream” to become a martyr.

    In two different instances, Damlarkaya provided instructions to other Daesh supporters on how to construct bombs from the explosive triacetone triperoxide, also warning Daesh supporters to “take safety seriously while you make this” to be “useful until you can strike,” according to the press release.

    Damlarkaya also offered other Daesh supporters information on how to manufacture automatic weapons and stated that he could purchase a “giant machete for $15.” He stated that “a lot of us are poor … or we don’t have experience. So not all of us can get a gun or make explosives, but we can afford to buy a $15 knife.” He also said that he slept with a machete under his pillow to attack law enforcement in the event they entered his home.

    When Damlarkaya’s home was searched on a warrant by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, a machete was found beside his bed. 

    On Monday, US District Judge Andrew S. Hanen scheduled Damlarkaya’s sentencing for September 30. Damlarkaya, who will remain in custody until then, faces up to 20 years behind bars and a potential fine of up to $250,000. 

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