ISIS Sympathizer in Phoenix was Plotting a Lone Wolf Attack
Investigators say a Phoenix man was plotting a lone wolf attack in support of ISIS.
Derrick Thompson, who also goes by the name Abu Talib Al-Amriki, was arrested by the Arizona Joint Terrorism Taskforce earlier this week.
In October, investigators say Thompson made several Google searches including: midnight mass, martyrdom vs suicide and which type of gun is the most powerful. He also reportedly posted on his Google Plus account in October, "We need to get down with this ISIS S***."
According to court paperwork, it was January 2015 when Thompson tried to buy gun from backpage.com with the intent to carry out an attack for ISIL. However, Thompson is a convicted felon – which prohibits him from buying a firearm.
Investigators say since 2014, Thompson has been an “avowed jihadist,” and has conducted 100’s of Google searches for handguns, rifles, scopes and crossbows.
Thompson, who was raised in Arizona, was involved in two armed robberies in 2005 along with two other men. They robbed two men in two days, armed with a handgun and an SKS rifle with a bayonet. Thompson was sentenced to seven and half years in prison for his involvement in these crimes. Thompson was released on January 1, 2013.
Thompson's arrest comes a month after an 18-year-old Arizona man was sentenced to eight years in prison for terrorism convictions stemming from a plot to attack a motor vehicle office in metro Phoenix.
Mahin Khan of Tucson pleaded guilty to terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism, and conspiracy to commit misconduct involving weapons.
Authorities said Khan, who was arrested in July, wanted to attack the motor vehicle office in Mesa and instructed an undercover FBI employee to start building homemade grenades.
Khan was accused of wanting to inspire an insurgency in the U.S. to carry out attacks and had online exchanges with a person believed to be a member of the Islamic State terror group.
Authorities said Khan had also expressed a desire to attack a Jewish community center in Tucson and that investigators found a document in a search of his home that showed he wanted to attack a military recruiting center and a fitness location.
His defense attorney said Khan has struggled with mental health issues and shown poor impulse control but accepts responsibility for his actions.
Thompson, whose prior record includes a conviction for armed robbery in 2005, was being held in a Phoenix jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
Neighbors say the FBI raided Thompson's apartment on Tuesday.
"He's a very quiet person, he and his family," neighbor Kris Poola said. "We rarely see them outside the house."
"Just a bunch of FBI agents - looked almost like military, and they had helmets and big bulletproof vests and assault rifles," neighbor Mark Talbot said. Talbot said the agents removed Thompson's wife and young child while they searched the man's residence.