U.S. Attorney Jill Rose, based in Charlotte, NC, has confirmed that the government is conducting numerous investigations in her state involving ISIS terrorist activity.
This was brought to light after Justin Sullivan was handed a life sentence for concocting a scheme to commit mass murder in the name of the Islamic State. Sullivan’s father said his son had become “combative” after converting to Islam in 2014. In his case, prosecutors say he was plotting directly with Junaid Hussain, a prominent ISIS leader, recruiter and social media expert to kill up to hundreds of people at a concert or club in North Carolina or Virginia and film the carnage to use for ISIS propaganda. Hussain was killed in August 2016 airstrike in Syria.
The Charlotte Observer reports, A domestic-terrorism expert told the Observer this week that the North Carolina probes are among some 1,000 active FBI investigations into ISIS-related threats encompassing all 50 states.
One case involves a 29-year-old Waxhaw man accused of lying to the FBI when he denied he told someone he planned to fly to Syria to fight with ISIS while helping others get there to do the same, according to a bill of indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte.
Alexander Samuel Smith is accused of meeting with someone in Matthews in 2014 whom he thought was an ISIS representative but who was really an FBI confidential source, the indictment said. He offered lower-fare “buddy passes” he said he could get from his girlfriend, who worked at a U.S. airline at the time, court documents show. Smith is charged with two counts of making a false statement to an agency of the United States, according to the indictment.
Keri Farley, the FBI’s assistant special agent in charge of North Carolina, said Sullivan’s arrest saved lives. But she added that “homegrown violent extremists” are becoming harder to stop.
Sullivan, the young man who was given a life sentence for planning a terrorist attack, is one of 126 individuals who were arrested here in America last year for ISIS-related activity, according to the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, a study mentioned in the report quoted above.
The majority of those arrested were male with an average age of 27, with 45 percent being arrested for attempting to join ISIS overseas and another 30 percent for plotting an attack here at home.
This is scary stuff, but unfortunately, it is the reality we live in, and a perfect example of why we absolutely need to have some sort of improvement in our efforts to dismantle groups like ISIS for good.
[This article was written by Michael Cantrell]