Hamden man admits attempting to travel to fight for ISIS


Date: January 12, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Kevin Iman McCormick, of Hamden, pleaded guilty today in Bridgeport federal court to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery, Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department's National Security Division, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jean Pierre Njock of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New Haven Division made the announcement.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between August and October 2019, McCormick made several statements to others expressing a desire to travel to Syria and to fight for ISIS. In one conversation in October 2019, McCormick stated "I gotta fight bro, because those people, Abu Masa and ISIL, they fought for me bro, I know it, I can feel it, in my heart. So it's my time to fight . . . It just is what it is bro, it's just my – it's just my time to go bro." When McCormick was asked to elaborate on where he would like to travel, McCormick responded, "I don't know, I don't know bro – it's gotta be like Syria. Where ISIL is at….whichever place is easiest, whatever place I can get there the fastest, the quickest, the easiest, and where I can have a rifle and I can have some people bro. That's what I need, I need a rifle and I need some people, I need Islamic law, I need, that's what I need, because if I have these things, it's gonna to be very hard to kill me."

On October 12, 2019, McCormick attempted to board a flight from Connecticut to Jamaica, but was prevented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. McCormick subsequently told an individual that he wanted to travel to Jamaica, and then onward to Syria to join ISIS. He also indicated that he wanted to acquire weapons.

On October 19, 2019, McCormick made a video during which he pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Also on that date, he purchased a plane ticket from Toronto, Canada, to Amman, Jordan. On October 21, 2019, McCormick was arrested after he traveled to a small private airport in Connecticut where he expected to board a plane that would fly him to Canada.

McCormick has been detained since his arrest.

The charge of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. McCormick is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley on April 6.

This matter has been investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) with the assistance of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The FBI's JTTF includes participants from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, Norwich Police Department, Hartford Police Department, Stamford Police Department, Norwalk Police Department, Town of Groton Police Department, UConn Police Department, Yale Police Department, and New York Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed of the District of Connecticut and Trial Attorneys Justin Sher and John Cella from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department's National Security Division.