TWO’S A CHARM

S.C. Man Arrested for Second Time Allegedly Trying to Aid ISIS

The South Carolina man arrested Thursday night for allegedly trying to board a plane to join ISIS in Syria had just been released from prison less than a year ago. Zakaryia Abdin was arrested at age 16 on ISIS-related weapons charges and released from a juvenile prison in May 2016 at age 18, despite the police chief's protests. York Police Chief Andy Robinson and 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett confirmed to the Post and Courier that Abdin was the man charged in the juvenile case. "I am not upset, but only because no one was hurt," Robinson said. "This is exactly why we have been pushing our state legislators to pass (the bill) and make it state law so this sort of thing doesn't happen again in he future, possibly with a much graver outcome." Abdin's defense attorney in the prior case had told The Daily Beast that his client was not an ISIS sympathizer, but a young man with family in Syria who was concerned about the well-being of the Syrian people. He was a religious boy whose father had died, and who was searching for meaning but had backed out of the alleged plot. "He never was anti-American or anything like that. His whole thing was going to Syria, and being with the Syrian Free Army,” BJ Barrowclough said. "There was no anti-American sentiment, there was no wanting to go join ISIS and be a terrorist."

—Katie Zavadski