The FBI has arrested two men, both US citizens, for conspiring to commits acts of terror in New York City and elsewhere in the United States. The two men are accused of providing support to ISIS and discussed carrying out attacks in the United States and overseas on behalf of the terrorist group.
Kristopher Sean Matthews, of Elgin, South Carolina, who called himself “Ali Jibreel,” and Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Cost, Texas, who adopted the Islamic name “Abdur Rahim,” allegedly plotted to attack economic centers and government buildings, including CIA headquarters, the FBI Building, and DEA headquarters. Also mentioned as targets were the Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, and the New York Stock Exchange.
The 14-page criminal complaint states that Matthews used an encrypted cellphone messaging application last year to find ISIS operatives outside the United States to facilitate his travel to Syria to recruit additional terrorists who support ISIS ideology.
The FBI became aware of Molina’s affiliation with Matthews when he joined the same encrypted chat in April. Within a short period, Molina was using the encrypted platform to share manuals on how to train with an AK-47 and bomb-making instructions.
The criminal complaint also states that the two men used social media platforms, some public, to “radicalize and recruit other online users to join ISIS.”
“We need to stick together, we need to defeat them, we need to take a lot of casualties,” the charging complaint stated Molina as saying. “You are my enemy (America) and never will I wear your flag…but I will raise the black flag of Allah.”
Matthews also talked about becoming famous if the two could execute their plan. Matthews used the terms “rock star status baby,” and “Netflix worthy” in describing the perceived notoriety they would achieve.
The communication from the two men, which included ISIS propaganda videos, was being tracked by online by covert FBI employees, records show. The charges carry a potential 20-year prison term for each of the two men.