A 17-year-old boy from Philadelphia has been arrested as part of a terrorism investigation, officials announced Monday. The teen, whose identity remains undisclosed due to being a juvenile, was taken into custody on Friday on state charges. According to FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Field Office Jacqueline Maguire, the teenager had been in contact with Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad, a terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda, which was designated by the State Department in 2022.
Authorities revealed that the teenager had access to firearms and had purchased bomb-making materials commonly found in his possession. It is alleged that he became radicalized through online platforms. Maguire stated that the teen had acquired tactical equipment, wiring, chemicals, and devices typically used as remote detonators. Some of these items were recently purchased, escalating concerns regarding public safety.
Officials also disclosed that the teenager had plans to travel overseas to train with or join the terrorist group. Maguire mentioned that the individual had conducted general research into potential targets, but no specific location was mentioned, and it was not limited to the Philadelphia area.
According to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, the 17-year-old is now facing multiple charges in Pennsylvania, including weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy, arson, and causing or risking catastrophe. Krasner emphasized the severity of the situation, stating that the arrested individual posed a significant danger to himself, his family, and the community.