Prosecutors say Michael Todd Wolfe was arrested Tuesday at the Bush International Airport in Houston and Rahataul Khan was arrested Wednesday. Khan is a 23-year old University of Texas student. Wolfe is a businessman.
Federal prosecutors say both of the men planned to go to Syria and possible join an Al Qaeda splinter group, leading militants in Iraq.
The criminal complaints against the men say they were telling undercover FBI agents or informants about the desire to join a Muslim insurgence.
One complaint says Khan is a Bangladesh born American citizen who lives with his family in Round Rock. He is accused of trying in 2011 to recruit an FBI informant to join insurgents fighting in Somalia and discussing his own desire to go abroad.
Wolfe is accused of telling undercover FBI agents about his desire to fight in Syria, the site of an ongoing insurgency that has expanded into neighboring Iraq.
Congressman McCaul, who represents Brenham, Washington County and Round Rock in the U.S. House, is also the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Congressman McCaul, in praising the Austin JTTF for identifying and arresting these two men, said this is precisely the homeland security threat posed by the growing terrorist safe haven in Syria and now Iraq. McCaul said Americans and other westerners with legal travel documents are going to Syria to join the fight and are being trained by ‘jihadists’ to attack western targets. ‘ McCaul concluded by saying ‘this war is not over and the administration needs to face this crisis head on.’