Washington D.C. Man Facing Drug Charges Allegedly Showed Strong Interest in ISIS
According to court documents, the defendant first came under FBI scrutiny after donning a mask and taunting patrons at a Washington, D.C., bar by displaying ISIS propaganda from his cell phone
A Washington, D.C., man charged last week with selling methamphetamine to an undercover police officer allegedly had a strong support for ISIS, according to prosecutors who opposed bail for the defendant.
According to court documents, Jeremy Stevenson first came under FBI scrutiny on Jan. 19, 2017, after he had donned a mask and taunting patrons at a Washington, D.C., bar by displaying ISIS propaganda from his cell phone, including photographs of the ISIS flag and a video depicting a beheading at the hands of an ISIS militant. The incident occurred during the week of the presidential inauguration, and the FBI identified Stevenson as the perpetrator later that year.
The FBI spoke with Stevenson twice in 2017. According to court documents, the suspect defended ISIS beheadings during these interviews, comparing such acts to death sentences handed down by the U.S. criminal justice system.
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Stevenson explained he searched the internet for ISIS videos, including beheading videos and videos where ISIS leadership explained its mission and purpose. He also said he had communicated via Facebook with ISIS-connected individuals who had attempted to recruit him to join ISIS.
According to court documents, a Facebook user had asked Stevenson if he wanted to join ISIS and urged him to take Arabic language classes. The defendant reported to the FBI that he did not actually intend to join ISIS, but that he told the recruiter that he wanted to join in order to learn more information. The defendant also said that the ISIS recruiter had asked whether the defendant wanted to carry out a mission in Washington, D.C.
Court documents also say during Stevenson's initial court appearance he disobeyed an instruction to raise his right hand, instead lifting a single index finger invoking a symbol of support for ISIS.