BUFFALO, Mo. -The U.S. Attorney’s office revealed late Thursday why the FBI searched a home in Buffalo earlier in the day. It said a woman who lived at the home, Safya Yassin, had made numerous threats against FBI agents, military forces members and President Barack Obama on nearly 100 Twitter accounts, some of which were associated with the Islamic terrorist group ISIS, which U.S. government officials call ISIL.
The FBI has been following and investigating Yassin’s threat since it got a tip nearly 13 months ago. Here’s just a sample of the threats mentioned in the FBI agent’s affidavit.
“On August 24, 2015, and under the banner ‘We are the hackers of the Islamic State,’ Yassin retweeted the personal identifiable information of two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents with the statement ‘Wanted to kill,'” according to an FBI agent in a court document. “Numerous other tweets and retweets posted by Yassin . . . include: (a) a link containing photographs, addresses, other contact information, and even credit card information of United States Army, Navy and State Department employees (1 29); (b) a Tweet that a media personality “would be better off without her head” (l) 33); and, (c) a link in a retweet that lists the town of residence and phone number for approximately 150 United States Air Force personnel with the following quote: ‘Rejoice, O supporters of the Caliphate State, with the dissemination of the information to be delivered to lone wolves,’ God said: ‘And slay them wherever you may come upon them.'”
The FBI raided the house in Buffalo sometime between 8 and 9 Thursday morning, and they wrapped up at the scene about 2 p.m. An FBI agent’s affidavit filed with the charge says someone who was a friend of Yassin on Facebook had tipped off the FBI on Jan. 30, 2015.
“According to the complainant [the Facebook friend], recently Yassin had become convinced that ISIL is going to save the world and Yassin was trying to rally support for ISIL. Yassin told the complainant that he/she would go to hell if he/she did not divorce his/her non-Muslim spouse and get rid of his/her dogs and all of his/her non-Muslim friends. Yassin also said to the complainant that he/she would go to hell for his/her beliefs in God. The complainant stated that while Yassin’s beliefs are disturbing, Yassin has not directly advocated violence to the complainant,” the FBI agent’s affidavit says.
According to KY3 News’ online research, Yassin has lived in the Ozarks for about 10 years, including in Bolivar, Springfield, Strafford and Aurora. Before that she lived in the Kansas City area for the previous 10 years, except possibly for a short time in California in 2003-’04. She is a U.S. citizen.
Residents near Yassin’s home in Buffalo say, from the start of the raid on Thursday morning, the street was lined with probably 20 cars, many of them unmarked, and then the FBI brought in its mobile command unit and a couple of white trucks that they may have used to store evidence.
The FBI’s affidavit says Yassin had many social media accounts, and investigators say she used a Twitter account to post a threat against two FBI agents. In August, Yassin posted on a Twitter account associated with ISIL, the names, home addresses, and phone numbers of two FBI agents under the words, “Wanted to kill.”
Neighbors in Buffalo say they had noticed different cars parked along their street over the last several months, and whoever was in those cars appeared to be watching for something. They had even reported the suspicious activity to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.