A teenage terrorist suspect accused of attempting to make a weapon of mass destruction has been arrested at the home of a Philadelphia defense attorney who is seeking a Democratic nomination for a judge, sources say.
The 17-year-old, who has not been named, allegedly communicated with a Jordanian affiliate of the Islamic State and planned a “catastrophic terrorist attack”, when he was arrested on Friday, the prosecutor’s office revealed. district of Philadelphia.
Sources have linked the arrest to Friday’s FBI raid on the Woodbine Avenue home of Qawi Abdul-Rahman who ran unsuccessfully in this year’s Democratic primary for Court of Common Pleas judge, according to Philadelphia plaintiff And phillymag.com.
Police intervened after US Customs told them ’14 international shipments of military and tactical equipment’ had arrived at the seven-bedroom house in leafy Wynnefield.
“Among the items he purchased were tactical gear, wiring, chemicals and devices often used as remote detonators,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire said during the interview. press conference.
Philadelphia defense attorney Qawi Abdul-Rahman outside his childhood home in Philadelphia in a campaign video as he seeks the Democratic nomination as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas
FBI agents discovered bombs being built at the house in the leafy suburbs
Dozens of officers took part in the raid, which the prosecutor’s office says potentially thwarted a catastrophic terror attack
“He had not only taken steps to acquire the items and materials commonly used in improvised explosive devices, but he had also taken steps to begin assembling potential devices.”
The teenager has been charged with offenses involving weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy, arson, causing or risking a catastrophe, attempt to commit criminal mischief, possession of an instrument of crime and reckless endangerment of ‘another person,’ prosecutors said.
He was charged as a minor, but prosecutors are seeking to have him tried in adult court.
“I can’t imagine anyone there doing anything illegal or wrong,” said neighbor Paul Lazorko fox29.com
Abdul-Rahman, 54, was born at Plattsburgh Air Force Base in Plattsburgh, New York, the son of an Air Force officer.
Raised in North Philadelphia, he attended the University of Delaware, before transferring to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
“When Mr. Rahman transferred to Cheyney University, he chose political science because of a new ambition to become a lawyer after observing the injustices suffered by members of his community,” his website states. the country.
“After graduating from Cheyney, he attended St Thomas School of Law, Miami, Florida. After working at the Dade County Public Defender’s Office, Mr. Rahman returned home to Philadelphia to fulfill a promise he made to himself to serve the people of his community.
“With 25 years of legal experience, Mr. Rahman effectively serves his community and in 2018 received the Pro Bono Publico Award from Pennsylvania’s First Judicial District.”
Qawi Abdul-Rahman told voters he knows ‘exactly what to do when it comes to crime’
The spacious seven-bedroom house was raided on Friday evening
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (left) and FBI Special Agent Jacqueline Maguire said the investigation saved lives
Chemicals, wiring and a bomb precursor were recovered by officers during the raid on the house
The biography goes on to describe Rahman as a “loyal son, husband, father and role model”.
“When you are not in the courtroom, you can find Mr. Rahman on the football field serving his community as a youth football coach,” he adds.
In a campaign video, the lawyer returns to his childhood home and is pictured chatting with local residents.
“I know exactly what to do when it comes to crime,” he tells the camera.
“Those people who feel marginalized, excused and looked over, I was those people.”
Abdul-Rahman told phillymag.com he had no comment on the search of his home as it was an “open case”.
Asked about the arrested boy, his son told the website: ‘You want to know what I really am?
“Text or call me one more time, and you’ll find out what I really am.”
FBI agents monitored the boy from March this year after intercepting Instagram communications with Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ), a foreign terrorist organization affiliated with Al-Qaeda which has been designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of state last year.
The group which has also allied itself with the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for international suicide attacks, including a 2017 bombing of a subway in St. Petersburg, Russia, which killed 14 people.
His WhatsApp account also displayed graphics from the Chechnya-based Riyadh-us-Saliheen Martyrs Brigade and the Islamic State, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators said the teenager, who also had access to “a fairly large number of firearms”, had taken steps to “travel abroad for the purpose of joining or supporting terrorist activities” and was looking for potential terrorist targets.
“The young man who is under arrest was an aspiring terrorist,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
‘He didn’t just think, but did deeply disturbing things and posed a grave danger to everyone – himself, his family, the block where he lives and frankly people all over Philadelphia and potentially people across the country or even abroad.
Neighbor Paul Lazorko said the family at the center of the raid were calm and friendly
“The work of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has potentially thwarted a catastrophic terrorist attack in the name of an evil ideology that does not in any way, shape or form represent the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of believers seeking peace, including Muslims.
“The charges we have filed against this individual represent the most serious alleged terrorist activity prosecuted in Philadelphia County Court in recent history.
“We intend to pursue full accountability for these crimes and will continue to work vigilantly with our law enforcement partners to protect all of our communities from heinous and ideological acts of violence.”
Dailymail.com has asked Mr Abdul-Rahman to comment.