US Arrests Colorado Teen Who Planned To Fight for ISIS

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July 18, 2023

A Colorado teen was arrested while trying to board an international flight at Denver International Airport on Friday for "attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization."

The Justice Department on Monday said 18-year-old Davin Daniel Meyer "pledged an oath of allegiance to the leader of ISIS and intended to travel to serve as a fighter for ISIS in Iraq," according to an affidavit supporting the charges.

The criminal complaint stated the FBI was alerted by an individual who observed Meyer develop "radical Islamic beliefs" as he "sought out ... extremist videos and content online and openly discussed his violent intentions." Meyer communicated about his travel plans with an FBI informant whom he believed to be an ISIS facilitator.

Since 2011, more than 300 Americans have tried to join ISIS, according to a 2018 report from George Washington University's Program on Extremism. In one 2016 case, a Mississippi couple who met in college were both convicted of attempting to join ISIS, masking their trip abroad as a honeymoon. The report noted Americans accounted for less than 1 percent of all foreign fighters who joined the terrorist group, with most coming from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. A dozen of the Americans returned home, according to the report.

While ISIS has lost nearly all of its Middle Eastern territory, cells of the terrorist group remain in the region. Conflict arose last year at a Syrian prison after ISIS terrorists attempted to free their fellow militants but were defeated by a Syrian militia.

The FBI Denver Field Office is investigating Meyer’s case and an assistant U.S. attorney from the Colorado district is prosecuting.