Oregon case reflects extremists’ need of online presence

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Federal authorities say a man supported the Islamic State group for years from a Portland, Oregon, suburb by helping the extremists maintain an online presence that encouraged attacks and sought recruits. An indictment says Hawazen Sameer Mothafar, whose trial is scheduled to begin in January, produced and disseminated propaganda and recruiting material through social media platforms. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of providing material support to a designated terrorist organization and conspiring to provide that support. The case underscores the importance of having an online presence for the group, which by late 2017 had lost most of the territory it had seized in Iraq and Syria.