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Dearborn man accused of supporting ISIS denied bond

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A Dearborn man accused of joining and supporting ISIS was denied bond by a federal court judge on Monday. 

Ibraheem Musaibli is charged with supporting the Islamic State and taking part in its military training. The 30-year-old could face up to 50 years in prison if convicted. 

Musaibli has denied membership in the terrorist organization despite his name appearing on one of its rosters. Musaibli told the FBI that he was forced to feign the role of an ISIS supporter because the terrorist organization was monitoring communications of those within its territory.

At the time of his capture by the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces in 2018, Musaibli was only the second suspected American ISIS member to be apprehended in Syria, according to The New York Times.

“The United States is committed to holding accountable its citizens who leave this country in order to support ISIS,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement when charges were brought against Musaibli in 2019. 

Government attorneys have alleged he engaged in battle alongside ISIS fighters in Iraq. Musaibli has denied membership in ISIS and participation in the terrorist organization’s military activities. 

In their request for bond, Musaibli’s legal team argued that Musaibli is not a flight risk since his passport has been revoked and he would be subject to GPS monitoring by the federal government. 

Judge David Lawson denied the motion for bond, noting that tracking technology can be circumvented and pointed out that if issued bond, Musaibli would be released to his father as a custodian even though it was their contentious relationship that led Musaibli to leave the U.S. for the Middle East. 

In addition to the motion for bond, Musaibli’s lawyers called for his release from the Livingston County Jail, where he has been held in protective custody for about a year due to threats posed to him by fellow inmates because of his religion. Musaibli has been allowed out of his cell for no more than two hours a day for phone calls, personal hygiene, and limited recreation — conditions which his legal team qualified as the “functional equivalent” of solitary confinement.

Judge Lawson called those conditions “intolerable for a pretrial detainee” and said that if Musaibli cannot be moved to another facility within a week, then he would consider a renewed appeal for bond.

Beenish Ahmed is Michigan Public's Criminal Justice reporter. Since 2016, she has been a reporter for WNYC Public Radio in New York and also a freelance journalist. Her stories have appeared on NPR, as well as in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, VICE and The Daily Beast.
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