Harvard law graduate Joshua Raffensperger was arrested on Thursday in New York City and charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS, the FBI said.
“Raffenspecher has been charged with attempting to provide military training, logistical and material support for a foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to provide financial resources for the activities of a foreign organization, and providing material support by means of communication to an international terrorist organization,” the FBI’s New York Field Office said in a statement.
The FBI said the arrests were the culmination of an investigation it launched in October to address Raffesperger’s alleged role in recruiting students to fight with ISIS in Syria.
“His alleged plans included recruiting a large number of students to attend law school in the United States, providing financial support to those students in the form of loans, scholarships, and other financial assistance, and helping to facilitate their travel abroad, among other things,” the statement read.
Raffespecher is also facing criminal charges in Virginia, according to the FBI.
The Boston-based 19-year-old, who is the son of former President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, David Raffles, is a former law student at Harvard Law School, and he attended law school there before he transferred to Harvard.
He previously worked as a professor at Harvard’s Center for Intelligence Policy and Analysis.
Ruffles said he has no plans to speak to the media, and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The White House, meanwhile, said in November that the FBI had been working with law enforcement to try to find a “tough and talented young man” who was radicalized online and wanted to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS.
Riffenspergers mother, who did not respond to requests for comment, told The Boston Globe in January that she feared the FBI was “going to take away her son’s life” if it found him in Syria, but that she was not alarmed.
“My husband and I have known Josh for over five years and we have always told him that the truth and the facts are that he’s a good person,” she said at the time.
“We don’t want to take Josh away from his parents.”
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