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A Philadelphia teenager was charged and arrested on multiple state charges stemming from an FBI terrorism investigation, authorities announced Monday.
“The young man who is under arrest is … was a would-be terrorist who was not just thinking, but doing things that are deeply disturbing and present a grave danger to all of us,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said.
According to information from ABC News, the teenager had allegedly procured chemicals and taken steps to build a weapon of mass destruction.
“Among the items he purchased were tactical equipment, wiring, chemicals and devices often used as remote detonators,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire said at the news conference.
“It had not only taken steps to procure those items and materials that are commonly used in improvised explosive devices, but also had taken steps to begin assembling potential devicesyeah,” Maguire said.
The investigation began when the The FBI became aware of the teen’s alleged communication with Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ), a foreign terrorist organization affiliated with Al Qaeda. Over a period of weeks, the FBI identified the teen and conducted an investigation, which included surveillance.
The teen also had access to “a fairly significant number of firearms,” Maguire said.
“He is currently charged with the following crimes: weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy, arson, causing or risking catastrophe, attempting to commit criminal mischief, possession of an instrument of crime, and recklessly endangering another person,” Krasner said.
The case was filed in juvenile court, but DA’s office seeks case transferred to adult courtKrasner said.
The teen’s arrest sparked a large police response in Philadelphia on Friday night. Dozens of FBI agents arrived at a neighborhood in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia after investigators realized the teen had collected the materials needed to build a working device.
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