North Carolina Man Charged With Trying to Create ISIS Terror Cell in U.S.

ISIS militants / AP
August 4, 2016

A North Carolina man was arrested Thursday on charges that he attempted to recruit terrorists to launch attacks in the United States on behalf of the Islamic State, according to the Justice Department.

Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35, planned to create a terror cell where attackers would be housed and trained to target Americans on "kill lists," including military personnel, issued by ISIS, court records said. Hendricks claimed he had 10 members signed up with his jihadist group.

The Charlotte resident was charged with conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group after a year-long FBI investigation.

The FBI affidavit said Hendricks tried to recruit an individual in the spring of 2015 who had pledged allegiance to ISIS and attempted to purchase an AK-47 rifle and ammunition from an undercover officer to join his cell.

Hendricks allegedly told the individual that there were several "brothers" in Texas and Mexico and asked about his willingness to commit "jihad" and to die as a "martyr."

The FBI also charged that Hendricks contacted Elton Simpson, one of the two men who died in a gun fight with police during the "Draw Prophet Mohammad" contest held in Garland, Texas, this past May.

The woman who organized the event was among the Americans who Hendricks intended to target, according to the affidavit.

Hendricks could face a maximum of 15 years in prison if found guilty.