Seattle man arrested at airport en route to ISIS

0
Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, was detained Friday at Seattle-Tacoma airport en route to ISIS

Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, was detained Friday at Seattle-Tacoma airport en route to ISIS

A Seattle man was arrested Friday at the airport where he was reportedly on his way to join ISIS after previously planning an attack on the city’s pride parade.

According to court documentsElvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, reportedly had friends and relatives for years who wanted to travel abroad to join ISIS and wage jihad, and had recently obtained a passport to join ISIS in Egypt .

“Williams was determined to support ISIS either by traveling abroad to join the terrorist organization and fight or by launching an attack here in the United States,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers in a statement.

“The FBI was just as determined to stop him.”

The agency first became suspicious of Williams in October 2017, when he told others at school that he wanted to join the terrorist group.

Agents questioned his mother at the time, court documents say, who said he told her he wanted to move to Iraq or Syria to join ISIS.

She also said Williams had been kicked off social media for his pro-ISIS posts, and she tried to cut off their internet access because Williams was using it to access ISIS-related accounts.

Williams would have sworn an oath to ISIS in November

Williams would have sworn an oath to ISIS in November

More recently, the documents show, Williams tried to convince a friend to join him in a suicide bombing at the pride parade in downtown Seattle.

“It’s one of the biggest pride parades in the United States,” he told his friend. “In addition, after COVID strikes, a lot of people will want to go to the gay pride parade.”

His plan was to drive a semi-automatic truck through the parade, mow down as many demonstrators and spectators as possible, then jump out of the truck and open fire on the crowd.

His friend refused to join him, prosecutors say, but Williams became more determined to join the terrorist organization, saying he “really wanted to become a terrorist.”

“This defendant proved persistent in his efforts to join ISIS and spoke with enthusiasm about horrific bloodshed in the Middle East and here at home,” said Tessa Gorman, acting US attorney for the Western District of Washington.

Williams reportedly bought camouflage gear to prepare for his trip and sent photos to undercover FBI agents

Williams reportedly bought camouflage gear to prepare for his trip and sent photos to undercover FBI agents

He told them he would have all his supplies and passport ready to join the group in Egypt

He told them he would have all his supplies and passport ready to join the group in Egypt

A member of a mosque in the Seattle area became increasingly concerned about Williams’ extremist views and reportedly contacted the FBI about him in November 2020, around the same time Williams was allegedly taking an oath of allegiance to ISIS. sworn.

The mosque official told the FBI that mosque members were trying to support and guide Williams in an effort to de-radicalize him.

They gave him a cell phone and laptop in the hopes he would use it to get a job, the mosque official said, but when Williams returned the devices, they found he was using it to capture videos of ISIS beheading. and talk to ISIS terrorists.

His mother told the FBI that he was becoming more and more radical every day, calling ISIS “our people.”

At that point, FBI agents began monitoring his activities, and in February agents began impersonating ISIS recruiters in messages to Williams, telling him they would approve and facilitate Williams’ journey for the jihad.

Williams allegedly told undercover officers he wanted to perform a beheading, using the name Ali Ar-Rusi as a cover, an apparent tribute to his Russian heritage

Williams allegedly told undercover officers he wanted to perform a beheading, using the name Ali Ar-Rusi as a cover, an apparent tribute to his Russian heritage

In those messages, Williams used the username Ali Ar-Rusi, an apparent tribute to his Russian heritage, and allegedly confided to the undercover officers that he wanted to become a suicide bomber or be in charge of the beheadings.

He also reportedly told them that if he could not travel abroad to join them, he would launch an attack on US soil on behalf of ISIS.

As time went on, he prepared more for his journey by purchasing camouflage materials and purchasing a passport.

In early May 2021, Williams booked a flight from Seattle to Amsterdam, which would then connect him to Egypt, but was stopped at the airport on May 28 en route to the first leg of the journey.

Williams is accused of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

.