Following a joint investigation by the Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI Joint Terrorism task force, the district attorney’s office for the city of Philadelphia said on Monday that a 17-year-old resident of West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is now facing adult charges, including arson and the possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Most serious alleged terrorist behavior
In a press release announcing the arrest, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner stated that the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force’s work may have prevented a devastating terrorist attack committed in the name of a perverted ideology that in no way, shape, or form corresponds to the beliefs of the vast majority of peace-seeking members of religious communities, including Muslims. The allegations they have made against this person amount to the most serious alleged terrorist behavior that Philadelphia County court has ever been made to prosecute. In order to safeguard all of our communities from racial and ideologically motivated acts of violence, they aim to vigorously pursue full accountability for these crimes, reports NEWSMAX.
The unnamed young person was seized by FBI and SWAT police on Friday at his home in the Wynnefield neighborhood of the city, and agents searched two additional residences linked to him, according to a press release.
The teenager, according to the press release, had contact with the terrorist organization Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad, which operates primarily out of Syria and is thought to be responsible for numerous deadly attacks across the globe, including the 2016 suicide car bombing at the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and the 2017 attack in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In a report from ABC 30, the young person allegedly made contact with the terrorist organization Riyad-us-Saliheen Martyrs’ Brigade over WhatsApp and an Instagram account in March and April, according to the agency.
On August 7, agents discovered him purchasing outdoor tactical equipment and IED building supplies. U.S. Records from Customs and Border Protection showed that 14 shipments of military and tactical equipment were sent to the child’s house on August 8.
According to the press statement, he faces charges related to the possession of weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy, arson, reckless endangerment of another person, and threatening catastrophe.
If the case is moved to an adult court, more information will reportedly be made available to the public.