Where did Mateo Ventura convert? Who taught him about Islam? Authorities have no interest in these questions. The number of converts to Islam becoming jihadis is high, but officials the world over are completely indifferent to this phenomenon.
WORCESTER, Mass. — A Wakefield teenager was arrested Thursday on charges he allegedly ran a gift-card reselling scheme aimed at raising money for the foreign terrorist organization ISIS, federal prosecutors said.
Mateo Ventura, 18, was ordered held after he was arraigned in federal court in Worcester on a charge of knowingly concealing the source of material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts.
Ventura provided multiple gift cards to an individual he believed was an ISIS supporter, with the intention that the gift cards be sold on the dark web for a little less than face value and the resulting profits be used to support ISIS, prosecutors alleged in charging documents.
Ventura allegedly stated that he wanted the proceeds to go to ISIS “for war on kuffar,” (disbelievers).
Between January 2023 and May 2023, Ventura donated $705 in Google Play Store gift cards intended to support ISIS, according to prosecutors.
Ventura implicated himself in the scheme by conversing in lengthy conversations with an undercover FBI agent who was posing as a supporter of the terror group, documents indicate. He also expressed a desire to move abroad to join and fight with ISIS.
On Jan. 26, 2023, when asked about hijrah (traveling to join ISIS), Ventura allegedly stated, “I want to give my life for jihad fisabillah (for the sake of Allah) intention is pure from heart,” and also stated that he would “make good fighter for dawla (ISIS).”…
Ventura’s father, Paul, said his son is a loyal American who may have a fascination with terrorist organizations, but no desire for affiliation.
He partially blames the school system for his son’s predicament. “So he’s in his SPED (special education) class and the kids in the SPED class are looking at school shootings and terrorist attacks in school,” Ventura said. “That’s what he’s learning in his SPED class.”
Paul Ventura told reporters outside of court that his son suffers from learning and neurological deficits that have made his academic career “very difficult.” He also explained that his son was bullied to a point that forced him to leave Wakefield High School in 2022, a year before he was slated to graduate….
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