“That’s one of the scariest individuals we’ve ever encountered. He’s a terrorist,” ~ York police chief
Also note yet another case of a Muslim who plotted jihad but was not charged with any terror-related crimes. Why? In this case because the feds – Obama or Loretta Lynch – have chosen not to charge the Syrian Muslim. Hush hush sheeple.
YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) – A South Carolina teenager who police say plotted to join ISIS and attack U.S. troops was denied parole by the Board of Juvenile Parole this week.
The teenager, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to a gun charge in 2015. He was sent to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia.
He had a parole hearing on Monday. Results of the hearing weren’t made public until noon Wednesday.
The director said the board decided not to grant parole to the teen after the hearing.
York police officers involved in the investigation attended the hearing and urged the board not to release the teenager.
“We just told them that he was a true and legitimate threat to the safety of Americans,” said York Chief of Police Andy Robinson.
The teenager, whose name is not being released because of his age, lived in York County but his family is originally from Syria.
At the time of his sentencing, York County Solicitor Kevin Brackett said the teen was communicating with another person in North Carolina through social media and text messages.
York Police initially went to the teen’s home in February 2015 after getting reports that he had a pistol, which is illegal for a minor in South Carolina. When they executed a search warrant, they found the firearm, ammunition and a rifle.
The teen initially told investigators that he had the gun to protect his family since his father’s passing. He later admitted that the story was made up.
Brackett said the teen told investigators that he and the person from North Carolina were planning to rob a gun store in NC and steal guns and ammunition. The pair then planned to attack a military installation in retaliation for military air strikes on ISIS.
They then planned to leave for Syria, where the teen has been several times, to join the organization.
During the search of the teen’s home, investigators said they found an ISIS flag in his bedroom.
Authorities said the investigation shows he was involved in “some radical Islamic activities” and associated with people in “radical Islamic groups.”
“We take that very seriously,” Chief Robinson said. “He had the means, the ability to carry out his plan, and it definitely concerned us that he may be coming back to our community.”
The teenager pleaded guilty in family court to possession of a pistol by a minor, which is the only law that he broke in South Carolina.
“There’s no state terrorism statute, the conspiracy, anything to do with that would have had to be federal,” said Robinson.
The chief said his officers remain in contact with the FBI, but was unsure about any investigation at the federal level.
The teenager’s court-appointed counsel at the hearing said the now 17-year-old has been making strides.
“In this case, this young man has done very well. He has not been a disciplinary problem,” said Tom Elliott Jr from Columbia.
Elliott made it clear that he was not second guessing the board’s decision, but believed the presence of law enforcement officers influenced the outcome.
“I believe that that was a concern of board members, in my opinion, that they didn’t see that often, and wanted to take that into account,” Elliott said.
The teen’s lawyer said he could remain at DJJ until he turns 21, or until he’s granted parole by the board.
He is scheduled for another hearing in three months.
The now 17-year-old was arrested after York police and federal agents found two guns in his home, along with ISIS flags. They believed he was recruiting for the terrorist group.
During the investigation, the FBI said it connected the teen to a plot to kill military personnel on a North Carolina base. Agents believe he planned to then travel to Syria and join ISIS.
The guns police said were found in the 16-year-old’s rooms were a loaded .25-caliber pistol in his night stand and an unloaded .22-caliber rifle. The teen was charged with possession of a weapon, but nothing related to terrorism because South Carolina does not have a state terrorism charge. On the federal level, the government does not charge minors with terrorism, leaving the gun charge as the only case police could make against the teen.
On Monday, York Police Chief Andy Robinson testified before the juvenile parole board, urging them to keep the teen locked up.
“That’s one of the scariest individuals we’ve ever encountered. He’s a terrorist,” Robinson said. “If this can happen in York, South Carolina, it can happen anywhere.”
Parole board members did not ask the teen any questions about terrorism or ISIS. They focused on the guns, which the teen said he paid $200 each for, using money he’d saved up from a job working at a restaurant.
Federal agents said they linked the teen to a man in the Raleigh area through social media who helped plan the military base attack. There was no word about whether that man has been arrested, though the investigation is still ongoing.
York police Lt. Rich Caddell said the teen told him he was serious about killing Americans and wouldn’t be stopped by police or anyone else.
Robinson said it was a real threat.
“I am 100 percent convinced that if we had not intervened when we did, this plan would have been carried out,” he said.
…the teen could be back before the board again by summer. At that time, he will have served the maximum sentence for the gun charge.