The Justice Department has announced that three Palm Beach County men have been charged with conspiring and attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
Gregory Hubbard, also known as Jibreel, 52, of West Palm Beach; Darren Arness Jackson, also known as Daoud, 50, of West Palm Beach, and Dayne Atani Christian, also known as Shakur, 31, of Lake Park were charged by a criminal complaint with knowingly conspiring and attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS, which the Justice Department referred to as ISIL, in a news release.
“According to the complaint, these defendants conspired and attempted to provide material support to ISIL and one of the defendants was arrested attempting to travel overseas to join and fight for the deadly terrorist organization,” Assistant Attorney General Carlin said in a statement.
Hubbard expressed support for ISIL and told an FBI source that he wanted to travel to Syria and join ISIL to take part in violent jihad, the criminal complaint said. It also alleges that Jackson and Christian also expressed a desire to join ISIL.
Hubbard bought an airplane ticket to Germany, where he planned to board a train to Turkey and then head to Syria, the government alleges.
The Justice Department says Hubbard was arrested on July 21, 2016, at Miami International Airport prior to the first leg of his overseas trip. Jackson, who had driven Hubbard to the airport, was arrested after he left the airport and Christian was arrested at work.
Palm Beach County residents who lived near the men and their families are shocked.
Brian Petrillo says Hubbard would come across the street and spend time talking to his father. “I mean it’s crazy. Someone we know is ISIS affiliated… You never know who you’re talking to and that proves it,” Petrillo said.
Another woman, who did not want to be identified, lives next to family of Christian.
She worries about the reach of ISIL in Palm Beach County.
“Oh my God, I’m crazy right now. It’s surprising because it’s in your back yard, your neighbor. You could die anytime. They don’t only want to take a few people, they want to take a whole lot of people.”
NBC Justice correspondent Pete Williams joined WPTV's Michael this evening from Washington with new details on the arrests. The FBI has been watching all three terror suspects for at least one year, dating back to April 2015, Williams reported.
The three men visited a shooting range in the South Florida area, and a wildlife management area where they conducted target practice, Williams also reported.
— WPTV (@WPTV) July 22, 2016
Following the arrests Florida Sen. Marco Rubio released the following statement:
"We have again been reminded that we have terrorists in our midst. While the details are still coming in, we know that we had three suspected ISIS terrorists here in our state, in South Florida, aspiring to kill in the name of this radical Islamic ideology. There should be no doubt that there are more terrorists living among us, with hopes of joining jihad abroad or conducting attacks here on our homeland.
"Vigilance among our people is essential, but so is equipping our law enforcement and intelligence agencies with all the tools they need to not only stop attacks but also track down all the people that were also involved. I congratulate the FBI and other members of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies involved with this arrest.
"President Obama has allowed ISIS to fester and miscalculated the seriousness of the threat they pose by calling them the 'JV team'. His failure to adequately address this threat and the limited time he has left to figure it out will go down in history as one of the biggest and most dangerous failures of his presidency."