Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, was apprehended at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport on Friday on his way to join ISIS
A Seattle man was arrested at the airport on Friday where he was allegedly on his way to join ISIS, after previously planning an attack on the city’s pride parade.
According to court documents, Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, had allegedly friends and family members for years that he wanted to travel overseas to join ISIS and wage jihad, and had recently acquired a passport to join ISIS in Egypt.
‘Williams was determined to support ISIS either by traveling overseas to join and fight with the terrorist organization or by conducting an attack here in the United States,’ Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said in a statement.
‘The FBI was just as determined to stop him.’
The bureau first became suspicious of Williams in October 2017, when he told others at school that he wanted to join the terrorist group.
Agents questioned his mother at the time, the court documents allege, who said he told her he wanted to move to Iraq or Syria to join ISIS.
She also said Williams had been kicked off of social media for his pro-ISIS posts, and she tried to terminate their internet access because Williams was using it to access ISIS related accounts.
Williams allegedly pledged an oath to ISIS in November
More recently, the documents allege, Williams tried to convince a friend to join him in a suicide attack on the pride parade in downtown Seattle.
‘It’s one of the biggest pride parades in the United States,’ he reportedly told his friend. ‘Plus, after COVID hits, there is going to be tons of people wanting to go to the gay pride parade.’
His plan was to get a semiautomatic truck and drive it through the parade, mowing down as many marchers and spectators as he could, then jumping out of the truck and opening fire on the crowd.
His friend declined to join him, prosecutors claim, but Williams just became more determined to join the terrorist organization, saying he wanted to ‘become a terrorist for real.’
‘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 for the Western District of Washington Tessa Gorman.
Williams allegedly bought camouflage gear to prepare for his trip, sending pictures to undercover FBI agents
He told them he would have all of his supplies and passport ready to join the group in Egypt
A member of a Seattle-area mosque became increasingly concerned about Williams’ extremist views, and reportedly contacted the FBI about him in November 2020, at around the same time Williams allegedly swore an oath of allegiance to ISIS.
The mosque official told the FBI that mosque members were trying to provide Williams with support and guidance in an effort to de-radicalize him.
They provided him with a cellphone and laptop in hopes that he would use it to find a job, the mosque official said, but when Williams returned the devices, they found that he was using it to watch ISIS beheading videos and talk to ISIS terrorists.
His mother told the FBI that he was becoming more and more radicalized every day, referring to ISIS as ‘our people.’
At that point, FBI agents began monitoring his activity and by February, agents began posing as ISIS recruiters in messages to Williams, telling him they would approve and facilitate Williams’ travel for jihad.
Williams allegedly told undercover agents he wanted to do a beheading, using the name Ali Ar-Rusi as a cover, an apparent homage to his Russian heritage
In those messages, Williams used the username Ali Ar-Rusi, an apparent homage to his Russian heritage, and allegedly confided in the undercover agents that he wanted to be a suicide bomber or be in charge of the beheadings.
He also reportedly told them that if he could not travel overseas to join them, he would commit an attack on American soil on behalf of ISIS.
As time went on, he prepared more for his trip – buying camouflage materials and procuring a passport.
In early May 2021, Williams booked air travel from Seattle to Amsterdam, which would then connect him to Egypt, but he was stopped at the airport on his way to the first leg of the trip on May 28.
Williams is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.