Federal law enforcement officials arrested an Indiana teenager on Tuesday on charges stemming from his attempt to join the Islamic State group, as well as efforts he allegedly made at conducting a terrorist attack in his home state.
According to ABC News, Akram Musleh was arrested at a Greyhound bus station in Indianapolis right before boarding a bus to New York City. From there, he intended to fly to Morocco, then make his way to Libya, where he intended to enlist with the Islamic State group faction headquartered there.
However, even before he attempted to leave the country, Musleh had been searching stores for components and online for information regarding the construction of a bomb using a pressure cooker and explosive materials, much like the Boston Marathon bombers. He had also scouted for potential targets to launch an attack in his home state, ABC reported.
Musleh had been under surveillance by the FBI since first coming to authorities’ attention in 2013, when he posted videos online of the radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Alawki, the Islamist who also was in contact with Army Maj. Nidal Hassan, the terrorist gunman who killed 13 at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. Musleh had also raised the suspicions of officials at his high school.
Attempts made at that time to talk him out of his potential journey down the path to radical Islamic jihadism were for naught though, as Musleh again earned attention for posting pictures of himself posing in front of the Islamic State group’s black flag, which he had purchased online, and conversing with others online about his desire to join the militant terrorist organization.
A source with the Department of Justice told ABC Musleh faces upwards of 20 years in prison if convicted of the terror-related charges he now faces.