The father of a man who is accused of planning an attack on a Detroit church is asking a judge to release his son and promises that he will keep a close eye on him once he’s out of jail.
According to WDIV-Detroit, Khalil Abu-Rayyan. who is a resident of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, is slated to appear in federal court on Tuesday. Abu-Rayyan is not being charged with any terrorism-related crimes at this time. However, investigators say that he has made numerous threats to police officers, a Detroit-area church, and others in full-fledged support of ISIS, a middle-eastern terrorist group.
According to CBS Detroit, in May, 2015, documents show that Abu-Rayyan was kept under federal surveillance by the FBI. The FBI also kept track of him through phone conversations and social media, as well.
It was also discovered that Abu-Rayyan was on social media showing support for ISIS by posting and retweeting any ISIS-related messages. There were also photos taken of Abu-Rayyan at a gun range, where he is seen firing both an AK-47 and an AR-25.
The complaint didn’t state which church Abu-Rayyan planned on attacking, only that it was in a nearby location that was able to seat up to at least 6,000 people.
Abu-Rayyan apparently told an undercover officer that a church would be an easy target to attack due to the fact that people are usually not allowed to carry weapons in churches to begin with. Furthermore, this type of attack would essentially hit the news, as well. In a statement, Abu-Rayyan said the following.
“It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news. Everybody would’ve heard. Honestly I regret not doing it. If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”
While on social media, Abu-Rayyan told the undercover cop about his plans for the attack on the church. He said the following.
“I tried to shoot up a church one day… It’s one of the biggest ones in Detroit. I had it planned out. I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced reloading and unloading. But my dad searched my car one day and he found everything. He found the gun and the bullets and a mask I was going to wear.”
Abu-Rayyan had not one but two Twitter accounts, and they have both been suspended. Twitter recently announced it had closed nearly 125,000 accounts for threatening messages or terrorist threats that are directly attributed to ISIS.
The father, Rayyan Abo-Rayyan, somehow managed to stop his son from going ahead with the alleged attack. In a written affidavit, Abu-Rayyan’s father said he will keep an eye on his son once he’s released from police custody.
The 21-year-old young man has been in jail for two weeks now. On October 7, Abu-Rayyan was pulled over by police because they noticed a strong smell of marijuana in his vehicle as well as an unlicensed gun. During questioning he said he was trying to conceal the weapon from the arresting officer.
According to the Detroit Free Press, while trying to purchase weapons in October and November, 2015, Abu-Rayyan filled out an ATF form and checked off “NO” on a question that asked: Does the purchaser unlawfully consume drugs such as marijuana? According to the FBI, Abu-Rayyan lied on two separate occasions and claimed he did not use marijuana when clearly he did.
Abu-Rayyan also confessed to carrying a”large knife or sword” in his car, just in case he gets involved in an altercation with another person. “I would gladly behead people if I needed to,” he allegedly told the agent. “It is my dream to behead someone.”
Abu-Rayyan eventually pleaded guilty for the possession of marijuana and is currently awaiting trial on a gun charge.
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