FBI: Man arrested in San Antonio for providing support to ISIS, discussing possible terror attacks on U.S. soil

Jaylyn Molina tracked on social media, encrypted chat by covert employees

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SAN ANTONIO – A Gonzales County man arrested by the FBI in San Antonio this week is accused of providing support to ISIS and discussed carrying out attacks in the United States and overseas on behalf of the terrorist group, federal court records reveal.

Jaylyn Molina, who also refers to himself as “Abdur Rahim,” faces a charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to an unsealed criminal complaint filed in San Antonio.

Molina was taken into custody Monday and is scheduled to make an appearance in federal court in San Antonio early next week, records show.

A co-defendant, Kristopher Matthews, was taken into custody in Tennessee, according to a motion to unseal records in the case filed Monday.

What they are accused of doing

A 14-page criminal complaint states that Matthews, a resident of Elgin, South Carolina, who refers to himself as “Ali Jibreel,” used an encrypted messaging application last year to find an ISIS facilitator outside the U.S. to help him travel to Syria and recruit additional members who support ISIS ideology.

FBI officials became aware that Molina joined the same encrypted chat around April, and within weeks, he was using it to post manuals on how to train with an AK-47, records show.

The communication from the two men, which included ISIS propaganda videos, was being tracked by online covert employees, records show.

The criminal complaint states that the two men also used social media platforms, some public, to “radicalize and recruit other online users to join ISIS.”

In a series of social media posts this spring, Molina wrote that America was his enemy and posted an extremely graphic photo collage of an American citizen being murdered by ISIS members, the criminal complaint states.

In May, Molina posted images in the encrypted chat that provided bomb-making instructions, the criminal complaint states.

That same month in the same encrypted chat, the two men discussed where attacks on U.S. soil would take place, at which point Matthews said he preferred hitting economic centers and government buildings, including CIA headquarters, the FBI and DEA headquarters, records show.

As recently as last month, Molina and Matthews told covert employees in the encrypted chat that they could use a “multi wave attack strategy” to carry out the attacks.

ISIS, or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is a militant group formed more than two decades ago that at one point controlled tens of thousands of square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS forces had weakened in recent years, before a report published by the Pentagon in August 2019 stated there had been a “re-surging in Syria” following a reduction in U.S. forces there.

Court records indicate that Molina is a resident of Cost, Texas, a small town located about 70 miles east of San Antonio.

A spokesperson for the San Antonio Office of the FBI did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. He provides restaurant health reports for KSAT's "Behind the Kitchen Door." Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.