November 16, 2015

The Paris terrorist attacks bring to mind the frightening case of an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operative arrested in Chicago last fall and released earlier this year to serve probation in Illinois for a state crime that secretly drew federal intervention.

His name is Emad Karakrah, the ringleader of a sophisticated narco-terror operation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) facilitated his release from Cook County Jail in January. Judicial Watch uncovered Karakrah’s terrorism record and has reported extensively on his extremist activities, including a 2009 plot to bomb talk-show host Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago studios and the iconic Sears Tower. In late August of last year Karakrah was arrested after leading police on a high-speed chase through Chicago streets as an ISIS flag waved from his car. When Chicago Police finally stopped and arrested Karakrah, he told officers his car was rigged with explosives that would detonate if searched. Bomb disposal units secured the vehicle without incident, but Karakrah’s arrest helped expose a narco-terrorist network with roots and financing in El Paso, Texas.

Karakrah is a logistics and transportation operative for militant Islamists in the United States, according to high-level law enforcement sources. He moves people, weapons, explosives, drugs, money, and other materiel to terrorist cells operating in Chicago, Brooklyn, New York and Saddle Brook, New Jersey, among other locations across the United States. More than a decade ago Karakrah smuggled drugs and weapons for the Juarez drug cartel in Mexico. In July of 2014, he was on a supply run to a militant Islamist cell operating out of a basement in Brooklyn, law enforcement sources told Judicial Watch. Before moving to Chicago sometime in 2011, Karakrah lived in Anthony, New Mexico and a suburb of El Paso. His ex-wife and two children remain in the El Paso area. In 1999 Karakrah pleaded guilty to felony “Criminal Sexual Penetration of a Child, Ages 13-16” as well as a related conspiracy charge, according to public records. Law enforcement sources characterize Karakrah as a “dangerous, crazy thug.”

At some point, Karakrah reportedly became a confidential informant for the FBI, but he went rogue and broke contact with his bureau handlers. This appears to be the reason that the FBI got involved in his recent state case, which Judicial Watch has covered thoroughly. Legal proceedings against Karakrah in Chicago were delayed at least twice because of FBI “equities,” sources close to the case confirmed. An FBI agent was present during Karakrah’s proceedings in Cook County Court and the agency facilitated his release. Records obtained by JW show that his probation was shifted from Chicago to Decatur, but local officials have been uncooperative disclosing his whereabouts, possibly because they don’t know or have been ordered by the feds to keep quiet. Karakrah’s last address is an apartment in Chicago, according to public records.

What we do know for sure is that Karakrah is dangerous and so are his business associates, which include two of the FBI’s “most wanted” terrorists, Jaber A. Elbaneh and Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah (a/k/a: “Javier Robles”). In December, 2014 Shukrijumah was killed in a Pakistani Army raid in the northwestern territory of Pakistan. Another key associate, Hector Pedroza Huerta, is a twice-deported illegal immigrant who has been convicted of driving under the influence three times. After getting arrested for his third DUI last year in El Paso, Huerta received a sweat heart plea deal of 15 months with no deportation or supervised release. His court record has been restricted so details of his arrangement with the feds are not available to the public.