Man planned mass killings in US on be­half of Is­lamic State: of­fi­cials

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A 19- year- old North Carolina man is in fed­eral cus­tody af­ter telling an un­der­cover FBI em­ployee that he wanted to sup­port the Is­lamic State group by killing as many as 1,000 peo­ple in the United States, author­i­ties said Mon­day.

Justin No­jan Sul­li­van of Mor­gan­ton faces sev­eral charges, in­clud­ing one count of at­tempt­ing to pro­vide ma­te­rial sup­port to the Is­lamic State group.

Sul­li­van “was plan­ning as­sas­si­na­tions and vi­o­lent at­tacks in the United States,” said As­sis­tant At­tor­ney Gen­eral for Na­tional Se­cu­rity John P. Car­lin.

Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, Sul­li­van planned to buy a semi- au­to­matic AR- 15 ri­fle on June 20 at the Hick­ory Gun Show so that he could kill as many as 1,000 peo­ple and demon­strate his sup­port of the Is­lamic State group.

Fed­eral author­i­ties be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing Sul­li­van af­ter his fa­ther told emer­gency dis­patch­ers on April 21 that his son was de­stroy­ing re­li­gious items in their home. “I don’t know if it is ISIS or what, but he is de­stroy­ing Bud­dhas and fig­urines and stuff,” the com­plaint quotes Sul­li­van’s fa­ther as telling 911.

An un­der­cover FBI em­ployee who first made con­tact with Sul­li­van on June 6 said Sul­li­van de­scribed him­self as a Mus­lim con­vert. Two days later, he said he wanted to kill 500 peo­ple but the next day said he wanted to kill 1,000 by us­ing bi­o­log­i­cal weapons, bul­lets coated with cyanide and a gas bomb.

He sug­gested do­ing “mi­nor as­sas­si­na­tions be­fore the big at­tack for train­ing.”

On June 9, the com­plaint says Sul­li­van asked the un­der­cover em­ployee to build a firearms noise sup­pres­sor for him. The sup­pres­sor was de­liv­ered June 19 to Sul­li­van’s home, the com­plaint says.

Af­ter that de­liv­ery, the FBI searched the home and found the si­lencer un­der plas­tic in a crawl space ac­ces­si­ble from the base­ment, the com­plaint says.

It ap­pears that Sul­li­van may have given con­flict­ing state­ments to his in­ter­roga­tors.

In an in­ter­view with the FBI, Sul­li­van said didn’t in­tend to carry out the plans, the com­plaint says. But he also said he in­tended to con­duct the at­tacks be­tween June 21 and June 23 be­cause his par­ents would be out of town. He said he had asked the un­der­cover em­ployee to kill his par­ents.

Sul­li­van, who also is charged two counts in­volv­ing pos­ses­sion of a si­lencer, was ar­rested Fri­day at his home with­out in­ci­dent. He made his ini­tial ap­pear­ance Mon­day in fed­eral court in Char­lotte, where he an­swered ques­tions from a U. S. mag­is­trate judge, ac­cord­ing to media out­lets. It wasn’t im­me­di­ately known whether he had an at­tor­ney who could be con­tacted for com­ment on the case.

The next hear­ing is sched­uled for Wed­nes­day morn­ing at the fed­eral court­house in Asheville.

The Is­lamic State group is a mil­i­tant or­ga­ni­za­tion that broke with the al- Qaida net­work and took con­trol of large parts of Iraq and Syria, where it de­clared a caliphate, a tra­di­tional form of Is­lamic rule. It is made up of mostly of Sunni mil­i­tants from Iraq and Syria, while also draw­ing ji­hadi fight­ers from across the Mus­lim world and Europe.

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