A Seattle man was charged with allegedly trying to join the Islamic State to commit violent acts of terrorism in the Middle East or the United States.
Elvin Williams, 20, was arrested Friday at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport following an FBI investigation into his alleged motives to engage in violence. Williams is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization and could face up to 20 years in prison.
“This defendant proved persistent in his efforts to join ISIS — speaking with enthusiasm about acts of horrific bloodshed in the Middle East and here at home,” said acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman for the Western District of Washington.
Federal agents became aware of Williams’s alleged connection to foreign terror groups after a member of a Seattle-area mosque contacted the FBI and accused the suspect of being “deeply involved” with ISIS propaganda, according to a press release by the Justice Department.
Williams was allegedly using electronic devices provided by the mosque to communicate with ISIS radicals and view videos of violent acts, including beheadings. He allegedly swore an oath of allegiance to the group in November 2020.
The FBI later became aware of Williams’s intentions to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS, which included a booked trip from Seattle to Egypt the suspect was allegedly about to embark on when he was arrested at the departure gate.