A Philadelphia teenager was arrested and accused of planning a potentially “catastrophic terrorist attack.”
“The work of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force potentially thwarted a catastrophic terrorist attack in the name of a perverted ideology that in no way, shape, or form represents the beliefs of the overwhelming majority of peace-seeking people of faith, including Muslims,” said District Attorney Larry Krasner.
“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 hateful, ideologically driven acts of violence.”
A law enforcement official told NBC10 that the teenager appears to have been radicalised online. He has been charged with offences related to weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy, arson and related offences.
Investigators say that on 7 August, the teenager was observed buying materials that can be used to make IEDs.
And on 8 August, US Customs and Border Protection found that the teenager had received 14 international shipments of military and tactical equipment.
FBI special agent in charge, Jacqueline Maguire, told reporters that the teenager had been communicating with the Khatiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, or KTJ, a terror group linked to Al-Qaeda that operates primarily in Idlib Province, Syria.
An investigation into the situation remains ongoing.