MORGANTON, N.C. — A North Carolina teenager has been charged with plotting to kill Americans on behalf of ISIS after he was turned into police by his father.
Justin Sullivan, 19, allegedly engaged in communication with an undercover FBI agent this month, explaining that he is a Muslim convert that considers himself a “mujahid.” A complaint filed in federal court on Monday stated that Sullivan stated that “the war is here” and invited the undercover agent to join the Islamic State of North America.
He also outlined his plans to carry out “minor assassinations” in the United States “before the big attack for training.” Sullivan advised that he would “send a video [of the attack] to IS.” He asked the agent his thoughts about making a homemade silencer, remarking that he would need to build it within a week.
Sullivan allegedly planned to purchase a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle at the Hickory Gun Show this past weekend, and use it to engage in a mass killing. However, the teen also outlined that he would use bombs and chemical weapons as well, and would pay the agent to murder his parents.
Last Friday, Sullivan was arrested at his Morganton home and now faces one count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, and two counts of transporting and receiving a silencer with intent to commit a felony.
“As alleged in the complaint, the defendant was planning assassinations and violent attacks in the United States and is charged with attempting to provide material support to [ISIS] and federal firearms violations,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said in a statement. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is counterterrorism and we will continue to pursue justice against those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
According to the Charlotte Observer, Sullivan’s parents had tipped off authorities about his unusual behavior.
“I don’t know if it is ISIS or what, but he is destroying Buddhas and figurines and stuff,” his father Rich Sullivan said in a 911 call. “I mean, we are scared to leave the house.”
A neighbor also told the publication that he saw the teen practicing with a gun in the yard shortly before police arrived on Friday night.
“[W]hen I was getting the grill ready, I heard gunfire from what sounded like a high-caliber pistol—five or six shots,” he said. “He emptied whatever he had.”
Sullivan is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
His arrest marks nearly 30 Americans who have been charged with supporting ISIS just this year alone, many of whom are teens or young adults. As previously reported, in April, six men were arrested in California and Minnesota out of suspicion that they plotted to travel to Syria to join ISIS—all of which were in their late teens and early 20’s.
“These were not confused young men,” Minnesota U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger stated during a press conference. “These are focused young men who were intent on joining a terrorist organization by any means possible.”