In recent news, a man living in Alabama was taken into custody on charges related to terrorism.
In mid-June, the Huntsville Police Department took 22-year-old Aziz Sayyed into custody on the charges of “Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism”. It was revealed this week that Sayyed intended to bomb a law enforcement building, according to the prosecution. (via WHNT News)
Officials say they were tipped off by a concerned citizen that something just “wasn’t right.” The tip spurred an investigation into the Twickenham Village apartment complex near the University of Alabama in Huntsville. While it’s unclear as to whether this was the residence of the subject in question, it did lead to the arrest and criminal charges against Sayyed.
Aziz Sayyed has been described as a “hard worker” by his former iHop employer, Hani Zatier. Zatier told WHNT News that Sayyed had moved to Huntsville from the Middle East to attend college. But investigators say he is a U.S.-born citizen from North Carolina.
Zatier, who now resides in Colorado, described the young employee as a “good guy” who learned English quickly and always asked for more work.
Sayyed’s current employer issued a statement attesting to the fact that the franchise had no knowledge of terroristic plots and intends to cooperate fully with authorities in order to see this matter resolved.
So, what exactly is Sayyed charged with?
According to criminal statutes, the charges Sayyed could face are as follows:
(a)(1) A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree when, with intent that material support or resources will be used, in whole or in part, to plan, prepare, carry out, or aid in either an act of terrorism or the concealment of, or an escape from, an act of terrorism, he or she raises, solicits, collects, or provides material support or resources.
(2) Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree is a Class C felony.
(b)(1) A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree and the total value of material support or resources exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000).
The FBI, in conjunction with the Huntsville Police Department, are conducting an investigation into the matter and the subject’s alleged residence. Authorities are saying the arrest and detainment of Aziz Sayyed — who is suspected to have at least been inspired by ISIS — eliminated serious terroristic threats and have expressed gratitude toward the citizen who gave them the tip.
FBI agent Roger Stanton stated, “We successfully mitigated a threat today with this arrest.”
“If you see something, you need to tell us. You need to say something. This investigation actually started as a tip. It was a tip that something wasn’t right,” Huntsville Police Department Chief Mark McMurray stated. “That went to another person. They called their local law enforcement and luckily, we have this joint relationship with the federal government and we all work these situations together to the end. This one was a very successful end because it was concluded before it got out of hand. Thank you so much.”
While Sayyed is still being detained, the exact degree of his charges have yet to be released to the public.