Affidavit: S.C. man arrested for attempting to join ISIS was willing to commit attack in U.S.

Updated: Apr. 4, 2017 at 2:06 PM EDT
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(Source: CCDC)
(Source: CCDC)

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Unsealed documents released Tuesday reveal an 18-year-old Ladson man charged with attempting to join ISIS was willing to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil and also referenced the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.

Zakaryia Abdin, whose family is from Syria, was arrested at the Charleston International Airport last Thursday night, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick.

Investigators now say he was attempting to travel to Jordan.

Abdin had run-ins with the law before, according to officials. The man was accused of planning to steal guns that would be used in a North Carolina military installation attack when he was 16, but was too young to be charged with a federal crime.

In online conversations with an undercover FBI agent he believed was affiliated with ISIS, Abdin said in February that he had pledged allegiance to the organization in 2014 and wanted help joining.

Abdin told the undercover agent he needed help getting out of the country and would tell officials in the U.S. he was going on vacation.

"If something goes wrong and I feel like I will get caught… I am prepared to do anything you need here… God willing. Anywhere," officials say he said.

"I was very close doing what our brother Omar did," he said in another conversation.

FBI agents say Abdin was referring to the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida which left 49 people dead.

Special agent Clinton Pierce with the FBI says Abdin began attempting to provide material support to ISIS shortly after the new year.

The FBI started monitoring Abdin on Jan. 13, after he began looking into buying guns, according to unsealed documents.

In January, Abdin told investigators he had purchased a gun because he was interested in hunting, wanted nothing to do with his past life and was disgusted with extremist ideology.

An investigation revealed that he was practicing at gun ranges starting in January.

Records show that Abdin sold rifles to two North Charleston pawn shops in February. He was also seen purchasing magazines and taking photos of other guns, according to the documents.

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