An Arizona man has been charged as a terrorist acting on behalf of ISIS in relation to an attack on a Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy near Phoenix earlier this month.
The Arizona Republic reported the criminal complaint filed Tuesday against 18-year-old Ismail Hamed alleges he “intentionally or knowingly, did provide advice, assistance, direction or management” to the terrorist organization, known as the Islamic State of Iraq al-Sham.
Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone told reporters Thursday that Hamed, who is a Fountain Hills resident (outside of Phoenix) called his office’s dispatcher insisting he needed to speak with a deputy in-person.
“He made some statements during that call that he had an affiliation with a terror ideology,” Penzone said.
Approximately 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, a deputy encountered Hamed outside of the Fountain Hills sheriff’s station.
He tried to open a dialogue with Hamed, who then began throwing rocks at the deputy and pulled a knife and began to move “aggressively” toward him.
Penzone recounted that the officer pulled back and gave “numerous demands to drop the knife and stop advancing.”
When Hamed failed the follow the command and drew with two or three feet, the deputy shot him twice. He was treated and survived the gunshot wounds.
Based on evidence gathered and Hamed’s statements, Penzone said, “It is our belief that his intent was to harm that deputy to promote terror.”
“When I say harm, it is very likely that he would have tried to take the life of our deputy, who had no choice but to fire on him to stop him,” he added.
Michael DeLeon, special agent in charge of the Phoenix’s FBI division, said the attack is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is a partnership of federal, state and local government officials.
Hamed is being considered a “homegrown violent extremist,” which the FBI defines as “a person who is based in the United States, who has been inspired by global jihadist movement and who engages in a terrorist activity to advance an ideology.”
MCSO just announced that Ismail Hamed, 18, had “for some time been radicalizing…and his effort was to harm the MCSO deputy to further (ISIS) ideology.”
FBI calls him a “Homegrown Violent Extremist.” pic.twitter.com/aHO2L95nn5
— Zach Crenshaw ABC15 (@ZachCrenshaw) January 17, 2019
DeLeon encouraged residents to be aware and report any signs of someone becoming radicalized by terrorist ideology.
“You need to notify officials when you notice a disturbing change in a family member, a friend, a colleague or a member of the community,” he said. “What I mean by that is when somebody is espousing or leaning toward violent activities.”
Sheriff Paul Penzone said investigators have determined that 18-year-old Ismail Hamed, who was born in the U.S., had been in the “process of what we would describe as radicalizing.”https://t.co/HUI3Yp58oU
— KTAR News 92.3 (@KTAR923) January 18, 2019
Federal authorities arrested a Georgia man on Wednesday, who they said was plotting to attack the White House and other targets in Washington, D.C. with explosives and an anti-tank rocket.
Twenty-one-year-old Hasher Jallal Taheb of Cumming (about 40 miles north of Atlanta) was taken into custody as part of an FBI sting operation.
Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta Chris Hacker said the arrest came after a year-long investigation launched because of a tip from the community that Taheb had become radicalized.
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