Authorities Arrest American Teenager, Accuse Him Of Fundraising For ISIS


John Oyewale Contributor
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An American teenager was arrested Thursday for allegedly trying to raise funds for ISIS via the dark web, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts.

Mateo Ventura, 18, appeared in court Thursday for a one-count charge of “knowingly concealing the source of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office reads.

Ventura allegedly sent gift cards to a person he believed to be an ISIS supporter “with the intention that the gift cards be sold on the dark web for a little less than face value and resulting profits be used to support ISIS.” Ventura termed his cause a “war on kuffar,” or “disbelievers,” according to the press release. Ventura allegedly donated $705 intended to support ISIS between January and May 2023. (RELATED: Michigan Man Convicted Of Joining ISIS, Training In Terrorist Tactics)

A closeup of The Department of Justice building, Washington, DC (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

A closeup of The Department of Justice building, Washington, DC (STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ventura faces up to a 10-year prison sentence, up to a lifetime of supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000 if convicted, according to the attorney’s office.

Twenty-seven Americans were previously repatriated from Iraq and Syria to face charges in connection with their alleged support of ISIS, according to an October 2020 press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ). Samantha Sally, whose involvement with ISIS made her the subject of a Frontline PBS documentary, was the first American woman repatriated from Syria or Iraq and convicted for ISIS-related terrorism charges. She was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison for smuggling “cash and gold” to ISIS, according to a November 2020 release from the DOJ.