Seattle man arrested at Sea-Tac Airport for trying to join ISIS
A Seattle man was arrested at Sea-Tac Airport on Friday for trying to join the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to the Department of Justice.
Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams, 20, was arrested while trying to board an international flight.
“As alleged, 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,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
“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 Tessa M. Gorman for the Western District of Washington.
Gorman thanked Williams’ family and faith community for having the courage to speak up and work with law enforcement as they became concerned about his radicalization.
A member of a Seattle-area mosque reached out to the FBI about Williams in November 2020, according to the DOJ. Members had become aware that he was involved in ISIS propaganda and using mosque-provided electronic devices to engage in online chats with ISIS radicals. He was also viewing beheadings and other acts of violence. The DOJ reports that Williams also allegedly swore an oath of allegiance to ISIS in November 2020.
The FBI began monitoring Williams’ activities and knew of his efforts to travel to the Middle East to join ISIS. He told his associates if he could not travel overseas, he would commit an attack in the United States. In May 2021, Williams booked a flight from Seattle to Amsterdam and then Egypt to join ISIS, according to the DOJ. He was arrested on Friday at the departure gate before he could complete the first leg of his trip.
Williams is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.