A Seattle man was arrested Friday trying to board an international flight to allegedly join the Islamic State terror group in order to engage in violent acts of terrorism, according to federal officials.
“As alleged, Williams was determined to support ISIS either by traveling overseas to join and fight with the terrorist organization, or by conducting an attack here in the United States,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.
“The FBI was just as determined to stop him.”
— Jennifer Lee (@JennLeeTV) June 2, 2021
The suspect reportedly tried to convince a friend to join him in a suicide attack on the Seattle Pride parade.
He allegedly planned to drive a semi-truck through the parade, mowing down marchers and spectators, before jumping out and opening fire on the crowd.
“It’s one of the biggest pride parades in the United States,” Williams said, according to his case file.
“Plus, after COVID hits, there is going to be tons of people wanting to go to the gay pride parade.”
He reportedly gave up the plan after his friend declined to join him.
Williams’ family and faith community contacted law enforcement over their concern about his radicalization.
Court documents showed that Williams wanted to “become a terrorist for real.”
“This defendant proved persistent in his efforts to join ISIS — speaking with enthusiasm about acts of horrific bloodshed in the Middle East and here at home,” acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, Tessa Gorman, said.
“I want to commend those citizens who contacted law enforcement — including his family and faith community — expressing concerns about the defendant’s radicalization. Their courage to speak up and work with law enforcement was important to ensure public safety,” she added, according to ABC News.
A Seattle-area mosque had contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation with concerns about Williams in November because they had become aware that he was deeply involved with the terror group’s propaganda.
When he spoke to FBI agents following his arrest, Williams reportedly said he intended to become an “executioner” or a “machine-gunner” for ISIS.
“It doesn’t matter what you guys do to me. I get rewarded for it,” Williams told FBI agents, according to the complaint.
“I want to die. We love our deaths more than you love your lives.”
He is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He could face up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.
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