FBI Arrests Virginia Man Who Wanted to Join ISIS and Attack U.S.

FBI agents on Friday raided the Sterling, Virginia,  home of Sean Andrew Duncan, who is believed to have wanted to join the Islamic State. Duncan tried to dispose of evidence when law enforcement showed up at his hometown, The Hill reports.

Court documents reveal that a relative warned the FBI about Duncan in February 2016 after he converted to Islam. The relative explained that Duncan may have been radicalized and spoke supportively about ISIS beheading westerners. The same month the bureau interviewed Duncan and his wife. Duncan was also in contact with a detained ISIS supporter and spoke that he wanted to join the jihadist group and conduct attack in the United States.

Additionally, the documents indicate that Duncan shared with the ISIS supporter instructions for making homemade bombs. He also asked her to go to Syria with him to become his second wife.

In June Duncan moved from Pittsburgh to Sterling. That month the police in Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located, handed over a copy of Duncan’s phone to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Searches of weapons, body armor and ISIS attacks and material were revealed. The police obtained a copy of Duncan’s phone while investigating the death of his infant child, the cause of which was inconclusive. Alleghany County police found more than 24,000 positive results in Duncan’s phone and laptop after searching a list of common counterterrorism terms, NBC Washington reports citing documents.

A Twitter account reportedly connected with Duncan’s phone was revealed this month. The Twitter handle was @DawlahtulIslaam, which translates to “The Islamic State.”

“Based on my training and experience I know the above-described searches conducted by Duncan are indicative of an individual planning and researching how to conduct an attack and defend himself from severe bodily harm,” an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit.


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