Alleged Fayetteville ISIS supporter pleads guilty to immigration, tax violations

Anthony Wilson Image
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
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A Fayetteville man accused of being an ISIS supporter will spend 2 years in prison.

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Houcine Bechir Ghoul, a Fayetteville man accused of being an ISIS supporter, will spend two years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to immigration and tax violations.

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After his prison sentence, Ghoul will be deported to his native Tunisia. He will then pay $18,000 in restitution to the government for falsifying tax returns to receive benefits.

In a criminal complaint, Ghoul was charged with attempted unlawful procurement of citizenship or naturalization and filing a false tax return.

In November 2017, he pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of trying to procure citizenship unlawfully.

Authorities said an informant sent the FBI screenshots from Ghoul's social media accounts in which he expressed support for ISIS.

Court documents said Ghoul sold drugs out of the convenience store, Snack Attack, where he previously worked and underreported his income.

An investigation revealed Ghoul's sympathies to ISIS despite answering "no" in his citizenship interview when asked if he supported terrorist organizations.

Reports showed Ghoul praised recent terror attacks.