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Terror suspect used tax refund to pay for planned Syria trip

Two Central Texas men have been indicted on charges of attempting to aid terrorist groups.

One of them allegedly was going to accomplish that goal thanks to his $5,000 federal tax refund.

Michael Todd Wolfe of Austin and Rahatul Ashikim Khan of Round Rock, just north of the Texas capital city, are scheduled to appear in federal court on June 30 to face charges that they recruited jihadi fighters through an online chat room. 

Rahatul_KhanKhan (left), also known as Rahat Khan, AuthenticTauheed19 and AT19, is accused of attempting to entice others to travel overseas to support terrorist activities, including committing violent jihad.

Wolfe, aka Faruq, faces the same conspiracy to recruit charges, as well as allegedly planning to personally travel to the Middle East to provide his services to radical groups engaged in armed conflict in Syria.

Michael_WolfeWolfe (right) was arrested June 17 at the George H.W. Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport where he was to board a flight to Europe.

Once there, Wolfe allegedly planned to head to Syria because, according to his wife's words in the formal complaint against him, "his heart yearns to … be with his brothers, protect them and fight with them."

Payment for the trip, according to court documents, came in part from an Internal Revenue Service tax refund of $5,000.

The two 23-year-olds waived formal arraignment, but entered "not guilty" pleas to the charges, according to the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation. Khan and Wolfe face up to 15 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine if convicted.

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