Nicholas Teausant, of Acampo, Calif., was arrested for reportedly talking about joining a terrorist organization in Syria, which he was encouraged to do by an undercover FBI agent and paid informant.
Teausant was charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a group that has been fighting in Syria’s civil war. The Levant is designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, notes the Associated Press.
Teausant reportedly wanted to fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which is exactly what President Obama considered doing in 2013, noted Press TV.
The FBI claimed that Teausant talked about his plan with an unidentified paid FBI informant who accidentally met Teausant on a camping trip, reports Warrantless.org.
The "material support" that Teausant allegedly provided, but never did, was a plan to appear in a video for the Levant as “the one white devil that leaves their face wide open to the camera.”
The paid FBI informant hooked Teausant up with an undercover federal agent posing as a "mentor," who encouraged and approved Teausant’s travels.
Teausant boarded a train for Seattle on Sunday night and was arrested on a bus in Blaine, Wash.
That's where the U.S. Customs and Border Protection asked Teausant where he was headed.
When Teausant said he was going to Vancouver, Canada, he was arrested.
Teausant now faces 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine because he allegedly “explored ways of supporting violent extremist activities and providing material support to various terrorist organizations.”
Teausant’s mother Teresa told the Lodi News-Sentinel, “I feel my son is a victim here as much as anything else. I fully believe that my son has been tricked and lied to and deceived. My son would not openly and willingly go harm anybody.”
The New York Times and The Guardian have both reported on similar "terrorist arrests" in which federal agents encouraged people to plan terrorist attacks and then arrested them.
Sources: Associated Press, Press TV, Warrantless.org, Lodi News-Sentinel, The New York Times, The Guardian