NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A federal magistrate judge denied bond for Lionel Nelson Williams Wednesday. The 26-year-old was arrested last month for allegedly providing material support to ISIS. That support: $250 he believed was going to help the terror group buy ammunition.
Williams’ federal public defender argued he should be allowed back at his rural Suffolk home under the watch of his uncle and grandmother. He stated that all firearms, including an AK-47 and a handgun, and all computers were removed from the home. Williams had used Facebook to allegedly pledge support for ISIS.
The judge said that based on the criminal complaint, he believed Williams could still be a danger to the community, citing Williams’ alleged statements about wanting to become a martyr and attack ‘hard targets.’ Judge Leonard said despite the removal of firearms from Williams’ property, other self-proclaimed ISIS supporters have carried out attacks without such weapons.
Williams’ public defender said ‘entrapment is flowing throughout the case.’
Federal agents provided Williams with a smartphone and then communicated with him using an encrypted messaging service. Williams believed he was talking to an ISIS sympathizer.
However, the feds say in a confession after his arrest, Williams once again pledged support to the terror group, stating he hopes they are successful.
Williams is set to be back in court for an arraignment on Wednesday, Jan. 11. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years behind bars.
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