FBI says Michigan man pledged support to ISIS, father thwarted mass shooting at church

A Michigan man allegedly threatened to kill police and churchgoers to show support for Islamic State, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday.

Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, of Dearborn Heights, was allegedly talking to an undercover FBI agent about his support for the terror group and how he wanted to shoot up a church that has nearly 6,000 parishioners, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The newspaper, citing the affidavit, reported Abu-Rayyan planned to shoot up the church one day, but he was stopped by his father.

“I tried to shoot up a church one day. I don’t know the name of it, but it’s close to my job,” Abu-Rayyan told the agent, according to the complaint. “It’s one of the biggest ones in Detroit. Ya. I had it planned out. I brought a bunch of bullets. I practice a lot with it. But my dad searched my car one day and he found everything. He found the gun and the bullets and a mask.”

The man had wanted to shoot up the church because it would’ve been an easy target, the complaint said.

“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. I regret not doing it. If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”

The FBI said he didn’t carry out the attack because he didn’t have the proper weapon to use for it. The agency said the church has up to 6,000 members and was only a half mile from where Abu-Rayyan worked.

The agency had been investigated since May 2015. Agents were tracking him through social media, phone calls and surveillance. The FBI said in the complaint he had two Twitter accounts on which he expressed support for ISIS, according to the Free Press.

Abu-Rayyan has not received any terror charges. According to Click On Detroit, he’s being held on gun and drug charges. He was stopped on Oct. 7, 205 for speeding when a Detroit police officer found a gun, sleeping pills and marijuana in his car.

He’s scheduled for a hearing on Monday.

Click for more from the Detroit Free Press.

comments powered by Disqus