Zachary Clark

Zachary Clark, a 41-year-old man from Brooklyn, New York, allegedly encouraged violence in the name of ISIS and distributed instruction manuals on bomb-making and terrorist operations.Asher Stockler, “Brooklyn Man Arrested for Allegedly Encouraging ISIS Attack, Sharing Bomb-Making Instructions,” Newsweek, November 29, 2019, https://www.newsweek.com/zachary-clark-isis-terrorism-bombs-1474833. Between March and November 2019, he used mobile applications to disseminate pro-ISIS propaganda and encourage attacks in the United States.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 4, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download. According to the criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York, Clark pledged allegiance to the terror group twice in 2019.“Brooklyn Man Accused of Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS, Encouraging Attacks in NYC,” NBC New York, November 27, 2019,  https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/brooklyn-man-accused-of-attempting-to-provide-material-support-to-isis/2224967/. Following an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) investigation, he was arrested in Brooklyn on November 27, 2019. Clark is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and one count of distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction. Each charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.“Brooklyn Man Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS,” U.S. Department of Justice, November 27, 2019, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/brooklyn-man-arrested-attempting-provide-material-support-isis. On August 10, 2020, Clark pled guilty to attempting to provide material support to ISIS. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 9, 2021. Clark faces up to 20 years in prison.“Brooklyn Man Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS,” U.S. Department of Justice, August 10, 2020, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/brooklyn-man-pleads-guilty-manhattan-federal-court-attempting-provide-material-support-isis.

Clark used an encrypted messaging application, referred to only as “Application-1” in the criminal complaint, which allows users to exchange private messages in “chats” and to distribute content to followers by creating “channels.”United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 5, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download. He managed numerous ISIS-related channels, using them to post instructional manuals that detailed how to carry out various types of violent attacks, such as bombings, shootings, knife attacks, and vehicle attacks. One of the manuals that he shared provided detailed bomb-making instructions, which were originally from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) propaganda magazine called Inspire.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 9, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download. One of the channels that Clark managed had a large international following and was “among the most popular and prolific distributors of ISIS propaganda, attacks training manuals, and other ISIS recruitment content” on the messaging application.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 5, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download.

Clark also utilized “Application-1” to disseminate propaganda that glorified ISIS’s terrorist activities and encouraged supporters to launch similar attacks in the United States.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 6, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download. Many of the graphics that Clark shared via the platform’s channels depicted New York City landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty and subway system.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 11-12, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download. In October 2019, he admitted to one of the FBI’s confidential sources that many of the graphics he posted to the application were images he created himself.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 24, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download.

Between March and July 2019, Clark communicated with an FBI confidential source who was posing as an ISIS member. Clark discussed ways to support ISIS, stating that he “want[ed] to do media” for the terror group and expressed a desire to conduct a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. According to the criminal complaint, he expressed a willingness to die as a martyr in an attack, but said he would need financial assistance and operational support.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 7, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download.

In July 2019, Clark communicated with another confidential source, who posed as an ISIS member based in the Middle East. The two corresponded using “Application-1” and a second encrypted application referred to as “Application-2” in the criminal complaint.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 5, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download. On July 19, Clark asked the source if he had any ISIS contacts who would help in supporting an ISIS affiliate on the East Coast of the United States. The following day, he sent a video to the source showing his pledge of allegiance to ISIS in Arabic.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 6, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download.

Following the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 26, 2019, Clark posted a message on “Application-1” pledging allegiance to the newly appointed ISIS leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, the nom de guerre of Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi.United States of America v. Zachary Clark, Criminal Complaint, (S.D.N.Y. 2019), 4 and 25, https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1221386/download.

On November 27, 2019, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) arrested Clark in Brooklyn, New York. He is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and one count of distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction. Each charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.“Brooklyn Man Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS,” U.S. Department of Justice, November 27, 2019, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/brooklyn-man-arrested-attempting-provide-material-support-isis.

 
Return to Full Database

Take action:

Help Counter Extremism

Stay updated on the latest

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

Fact:

On June 10, 2018, the Houthis launched a missile from Yemen at Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province, killing three civilians.

View Archive

CEP on Twitter