Knoxville man accused of supporting ISIS to represent himself in court

Crime and Courts

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville man arrested for attempting to provide support material to ISIS has chosen to represent himself. Benjamin Carpenter, also known as “Abu Hamza,” 31, was arrested on March 24, 2021, in Knoxville.

Carpenter is a United States citizen and according to court documents, he is the leader of Ahlut-Tawhid Publications, an international organization dedicated to the translation and publication of pro-ISIS and official ISIS media in English. A release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that he was also communicating with a person who he believed to be associated with ISIS. However, this person was a covert FBI employee.

On Wednesday, he appeared in court where he was granted to right to defend himself. The court also appointed attorney Stephen McGrath as elbow counsel for future proceedings. McGrath will advise Carpenter but will not actively participate in the court proceedings.

If convicted, Carpenter faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, a lifetime period of supervision upon release from prison, and a special assessment of $100 according to court documents.

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