A two-month investigation by the York Police Department into a teenage boy was kept quiet by officials because of a public safety concern. According to the York police chief, once the teen was arrested, they did not believe there was “any other danger to the community.”
The teen, whose family is from Syria, lived with his mother in York. Police reportedly received information that the teen had a handgun. An initial investigation located the teen on social media. The contacts on those websites and other places showed that the teen wanted to join the terrorist group ISIS. An ISIS flag was found in the teen’s room, as well as other materials.
The teen reportedly told police that a North Carolina extremist wanted to rob a Raleigh, North Carolina, weapons store. That man wanted to use the stolen weapons to attack soldiers at a military base nearby. At first, the teen did not want to participate, but once U.S. forces bombed Syria, he agreed. The teen then changed his mind again and did not want to be involved with the robbery or the plans to harm American soldiers.
The only charge the teen faced was a weapons charge, to which he pleaded guilty. He has been sentenced to incarceration until he turns 21. According to officials, he could not be tried as an adult because of the charge and the fact that the possible sentence was less than a prison term of 15 years. The teen also did not have a criminal record. He couldn’t be charged with terrorism by the South Carolina police because it is a federal charge.
The teen has been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the terror organization and who else was possibly involved. Federal prosecutors and the FBI refused to confirm that an investigation was ongoing or included any other possible suspects.
When facing serious charges such as weapons charges or robbery, it’s important to understand the possible penalties. In addition, federal charges must also be vigorously defended against because of the significant penalties.
Source: The Herald, “York officials: Teen’s ISIS plans investigation kept quiet for public safety,” Andrew Dys, April. 22, 2015