Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lunch Break (8/3/16): Charlotte man arrested, charged with recruiting for ISIL

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 11:52 AM


A Charlotte man appeared in court after being arrested this morning for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL). 

Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35, tried to recruit people to train together and conduct terrorist attacks in the United States on behalf of ISIL, according to a criminal complaint unsealed today in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Ohio.

The complaint describes how a man arrested in June 2015 in Ohio for allegedly attempting to purchase an AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition from an undercover law enforcement officer led authorities to Hendricks.

That man, whose name was withheld, had been recruited over social media by Hendricks, whose goal, according to the complaint, was "to create a sleeper cell to be trained and housed at a secure compound that would conduct attacks in the United States."

He mentioned that potential targets included military members whose information had been released by ISIL and the woman who organized the "Draw Prophet Mohammad contest" in Garland, Texas. Hendricks was in contact with two men who opened fire on participants of that "contest" in Texas in May 2015. 

This case was investigated by the FBI’s offices in Cleveland, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; Baltimore; and Charlotte, with assistance from the Justice Department’s National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Northern District of Ohio, District of Maryland, District of South Carolina and the Western District of North Carolina. 

If convicted, Hendricks faces a statutory maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. 

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A flash flood watch is in effect for Mecklenburg County until 8 a.m. tomorrow, according to WBTV. The watch also covers much of the surrounding area, including Gaston, Union, Caldwell, Catawba and Iredell counties. While rain around 1 to 3 inches is expected in most parts, as much as 5 inches could fall in others. (WBTV Web Staff) 

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Nearly 30 former Carowinds employees who are in the country on work exchange visas will now be sent home after being fired from the amusement park for being caught drinking while underage. The employees were not working when the incident happened, but were drinking in a parking lot in the early morning hours on Tuesday. Carowinds has not commented on the incident but the exchange workers say 27 of them were fired, meaning they'll be expected to leave the country immediately. (Paul Boyd, WSOC) 

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