Feds arrest 2 Austin-area men on terrorism cases

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 5:43 PM

HOUSTON – Two Austin-area men suspected in separate cases of terrorism have been arrested.

One was caught Tuesday at George H.W. Bush International Airport as he and his family tried to board a flight to Europe.

Michael Todd Wolfe, also known as “Faruq,” came to authorities’ attention after they said he offered to travel abroad to “kill, kidnap and maim.”

An FBI undercover agent stated in court documents that Wolfe’s wife fully supported her husband, and the couple expressed interest in getting involved with al-Qaeda in Syria. When they were intercepted at the airport, they had their two children with them.

Authorities said Wolfe even earned extra money in a medical study so he could pay for airfare for himself and his family.

The FBI had been watching the other suspect, Rahatul Ashikim Khan, since 2011 when an informant first began talking to him in a chat room about travelling overseas to “wage violent jihad,” according to court documents.

Authorities captured Khan at his home in Round Rock where he lives with his parents. According to court documents, he is a University of Texas student.

“We saw flash bang grenades go off in the house and then later we saw guys with FBI jackets on and they brought boxes of stuff out of the house,” a neighbor, who witnessed the arrest, said.

At one point, federal authorities stated that Khan tried to recruit terrorists locally, but his parents found out and chastised him, so he stopped.

If Khan and Wolfe are convicted, authorities said they face 15 years in federal prison and $250,000 fines.

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