Family of Va. man believed he was on vacation, not fighting for ISIS

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The family of a Fairfax County man accused of fighting alongside ISIS in Iraq denies the allegation.

A 26-year-old man, who was fighting with the Islamic State group, was seen on social media surrendering to Iraqi Kurdish forces. A photograph of an American driving license said to belong to the ISIS fighter was posted on social media, identifying him as  Mohamad Jamal Khweis, 26, of Alexandria.

In other reports, the man is identified as Mohammed Jamal Amin.

Several news organization, including NBC Washington, arrived at Khweis’s neighborhood on Kelsey Point Circle,  behind Edison High School, Monday, in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.

A man, who identified himself as Khweis’s father ordered journalists to stop photographing him, as he declined to answer questions about his son’s apparent involvement with ISIS.

Khweis’s father said he was meeting with American officials to determine what they knew about his son’s situation.

When reporters continued to ask questions, the man turned a garden hose on journalists, who were standing on public property. Fairfax County police were summoned, and order was restored.

Eventually, Khweis’s father repeated his grown child’s innocence.

“He is my son, he’s a good person, he’s a good son. And I raised my kids in the right way,” the father said.

“That’s him. I cannot believe it,” his uncle, Kamal Khweis, told NBC News, Monday. “He doesn’t even speak Arabic. ISIS? I cannot believe this.”

Kamal Khweis said his nephew had said he was taking a European vacation, and when his family last heard from him he said he was in Greece.

The State Department is investigating the reports that a U.S. citizen allegedly fighting for ISIS had been captured in northern Iraq.

Watch the video from WTOP’s news partner, NBC Washington:

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up