SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A 22-year-old Fremont man accused of trying to join a Syrian terrorist group was denied bail in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday.
Adam Shafi has been in custody since his arrest on July 3, three days after federal agents stopped him from boarding a flight from San Francisco international Airport to Istanbul.
Prosecutors allege he was planning to go from Istanbul to Syria to join the al-Nusrah Front, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department.
Shafi is charged in a Dec. 15 grand jury indictment with one count of seeking to provide material support to a terrorist group. The charge caries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison upon conviction.
The indictment and a previous criminal complaint filed in early July were kept under seal until Shafi’s arraignment on the indictment on Thursday.
Shafi was denied release on bail by U.S. Magistrate Sallie Kim. His next court appearance is a Jan. 14 status conference before U.S. District Judge William Orrick, the trial judge assigned to the case.
An affidavit filed by FBI agent Christopher Monika with the criminal complaint alleged that in a wiretapped telephone conversation on June 16, Shafi told a friend, “I just hope Allah doesn’t take my soul until I have at least, like, a couple gallons of blood that I have spilled for him.”
Shafi’s defense attorneys have said there is no evidence he intended to do anything other than travel to Istanbul, where he attempted to help Syrian refugees during a brief visit last year.