May 15 2013
NORTH CAROLINA: Teenage Muslim convert pleads guilty to plotting terrorist attacks against unbelievers
Members of the FBI thwarted a Fayetteville Muslim teenager’s plan to rob and kill people who did not share his Islamic beliefs. Erwin Antonio Rios, 19, allegedly planned to obtain a gun illegally and take part in a local religious ‘jihad’ against non-believers, or kuffar, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Fay Observer (h/t Susan K) Rios met with an FBI informant over several months and detailed his attacks. They included robbing armored vehicles, killing guards protecting them, and luring police to a home and setting off bombs, documents say.
Rios adhered to the ideology of radical Islamic extremism groups, according to court documents. Those groups believe violence is religiously justified.
Rios told an FBI informant he wanted to be a soldier for Allah, according to an affidavit signed Feb. 7 by Special Agent Frank Brostrom.
Rios started talking to the informant June 27, after meeting at an Islamic house of worship in Raeford. Part of his planned attacks included staging a robbery of an armored vehicle and shooting two of the guards in the face, the documents say.
Another attack would have involved police, according to records. Rios said he wanted to make bombs and plant them in a house. After doing so, Rios said he would call police about a crime in progress at the home and then trigger the explosives when police arrived.
Other planned attacks were smaller robberies and murders. Money made from those incidents would go toward purchasing weapons and planning larger attacks, the documents say.
During subsequent meetings with the informant, the two discussed how to get Rios access to a weapon. The teenager told the informant he did not think he could legally obtain one because of his criminal history.
He had been convicted in January 2010 on several charges, including breaking and entering, breaking and entering a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen firearm, according to court records.
On Tuesday, Rios pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm in U.S. District Court in Greenville, U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a news release. That gun, a 9 mm Beretta pistol, was sold to Rios for $100 on Feb. 7 by a second FBI informant in Lillington.
Before agreeing to purchase the weapon, Rios told the first informant he was worried the seller might be a member of law enforcement and the sale was entrapment. FBI officials removed the gun’s firing pin, making the weapon inoperable, according to court documents.
In one of the multiple meetings between Rios and the first informant, Rios said he had found someone who would sell him two AK-47s and a handgun for between $350 and $500, according to records.