Young, Radicalized Man From NC Planned Mass Casualty Attack

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A 20-year-old supporter of Islamic State from North Carolina accused of planning a mass Islamist terror attack in the U.S. pleaded guilty in court to attempting to commit acts of terrorism, The Washington Post reported.

Justin Sullivan began watching gruesome Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) videos of beheadings and other acts of extreme violence in 2014, after which he converted to Islam, announcing his support for ISIS and began destroying his parent’s religious objects.

“I liked IS from the beginning then I started thinking about death and stuff so I became Muslim,” he reportedly would later tell an undercover agent from the FBI. 

A year on, he was talking to Junaid Hussain, a top ISIS recruiter and hacker from the UK. Hussain, who was subsequently killed by a U.S. drone strike in Syria, directed fellow ISIS militants in the U.S. to behead Pamela Geller and was linked to the attack on her in Garland, Texas. Hussain was also thought to be responsible for publicizing a list of addresses and photos of U.S. military personnel. 

That same year, Sullivan planned to carry out a mass-casualty terror attack in a bar, club or at a concert. “I’ll kill people this month,” he told the FBI agent.

He made a silencer for his gun and had the make-shift device sent to his parent’s house where he lived in Morganton, North Carolina. When his parents questioned him about what he planned to do with it, he hired someone to kill them.  Fortunately, the hitman was an FBI agent.

Sullivan is also suspected of murdering his 74-year-old neighbor from whom he allegedly stole money to buy weapons for the attack.  He admitted to stealing his stepfather’s rifle which was linked to the attack.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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