2 Woodbridge men to appear in court Tuesday on ISIS-related charges

- Two men are due in court Tuesday to face charges for supporting ISIS.

One man was arrested on Friday at the Richmond International Airport. The Department of Justice says he was planning to travel to Syria to join the terrorist group. The other man charged is accused of helping him.

According to charging documents, the two suspects thought they were in contact with people that had ISIS connections. But instead, they turned out to be FBI informants.

The FBI had been monitoring 28-year-old Joseph Hassan Farrokh and 25-year-old Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan since at least November. Both men lived in the Woodbridge area. Elhassan lived in a townhouse community with his family.

Residents witnessed the FBI searching Elhassan's house Friday after both men were arrested.

“We didn't really know what was going on,” said neighbor Inez Jones. “We figured it was something big because of all the FBI agents.”

Charging documents show there are recorded conversations where Farrokh allegedly talks about joining ISIS for jihad. Farrokh allegedly said he had no patience and wanted to go right away to "chop their heads.” He also said he belonged on the battlefield.

According to the Department of Justice, Farrokh was arrested Friday in Richmond prior to boarding a flight with the intention of joining ISIS in Syria. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

Elhassan is charged with aiding and abetting after allegedly putting Farrokh in contact with people he thought had ties to ISIS as well as driving Farrokh to the airport.

This is not the first time the Woodbridge community is dealing with the news of an arrest linked to terrorism. Last year, 17-year-old Ali Amin was charged and sentenced to 11 years in prison for running a popular pro-ISIS Twitter site and helping an 18-year-old travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

Both Farrokh and Elhassan are expected in court Tuesday in Alexandria. If convicted, both could face up to 20 years in prison.

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