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Tennessee man accused of helping Islamic State group

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man held a key role in spreading English-language propaganda for the Islamic State group, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

Benjamin Alan Carpenter, 31, of Knoxville, has been in custody since his March 24 arrest, according to a news release from acting U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III’s office. A detention hearing was held Monday, but a judge did not immediately decide whether he should be free pending trial.

Carpenter was charged in a federal indictment with attempting to provide material support and resources to IS.

Carpenter, also known as Abu Hamza, provided English translations of IS media content to a person he believed to be associated with IS, prosecutors said. The person was actually a covert FBI employee, officials said

Authorities said Carpenter was the leader of Ahlut-Tawhid Publications, an international organization that disseminates pro-IS material in English.

A trial is set for June 1. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

It was not known whether Carpenter was represented by an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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