A Keyes man was arrested in Tunisia on charges of providing material support to terrorists, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bernard Raymond Augustine, 21, was traveling toward Libya with hopes of joining Islamic State fighters when he was intercepted in Tunisia in early 2016. After serving time behind bars there, he was turned over to the FBI, whose agents returned him to the United States, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a release Tuesday.
Augustine attended Pitman High School in Turlock, according to a person who said Tuesday she went to school with him and currently lives in his former neighborhood. Keyes is just off Highway 99 about eight miles south of Modesto.
A woman at Augustine's Keyes home responded via intercom, saying she couldn't comment on the case.
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Before leaving the United States two years ago, Augustine reportedly expressed support for the Islamic State and violent jihad in social media posts, authorities said.
Augustine had searched online for information on joining the terrorists, viewed videos showing prominent Islamic State fighters "engaging in violent acts against Westerners," and researched firearms and "radical jihadist propaganda," authorities found upon seizing Augustine's laptop computer shortly after he headed for North Africa, Tuesday's release says.
If convicted, Augustine could face 20 years in prison, the Department of Justice said.
Augustine was to appear Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, NY.
He's not the first from this area facing serious similar charges.
Everitt Aaron Jameson, 26, who has ties to Modesto and Merced and attended Enochs High School, is accused of planning a Christmas Day terror attack in San Francisco, according to federal court documents.
Jameson was targeting Pier 39 for the attack on Dec. 25, according to a criminal complaint. He was arrested on Dec. 22 and charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
We'll have more on this breaking news story as information becomes available.