Va. man charged with supporting Somali terror group, twice tried to travel to Somalia to fight


A man known for posting an online warning to the creators of "South Park" that they risked death by mocking the Prophet Muhammad was arrested Wednesday and charged with offering himself as a fighter to a Somali terror group linked to al-Qaida.

Zachary A. Chesser, 20, of Oakton, Va., told FBI agents that he twice tried to travel to Somalia to join al-Shabab as a fighter. On the most recent attempt, earlier this month, Chesser brought his infant son with him as he tried to board a flight from New York to Uganda so he would look less suspicious, according to an FBI affidavit.
Chesser was barred from the July 10 flight and told by the Transportation Security Administration that he was on the no-fly list, according to the affidavit.

While Chesser told the FBI that he had intended on July 10 to join al-Shabab, he told them in a July 14 interview that he subsequently changed his mind because of the July 11 bombing in Uganda that killed more than 75 people watching the World Cup, for which al-Shabab claimed responsibility.

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