Credit: Volusia County Sheriff's Office
American Teen Unveils Plot to Join ISIS – Devastated to Learn Why They’d Never Take Him

American Teen Unveils Plot to Join ISIS – Devastated to Learn Why They’d Never Take Him

A Florida teen who’s in jail for allegedly trying to break into a home by throwing rocks at the window wants authorities to know that he’s plotting even more serious crimes.

Ethan Russell, 18, recently handed a Florida correctional officer five crumpled pieces of paper on which he scrawled his master plan for terrorizing America. Russell wrote that he disliked the government for putting him in jail and so planned to bomb seven locations, including the White House, the Capitol Building, the Pentagon, Daytona International Speedway and the Orlando airport.

Then, Russell warned, he would become a sniper for the Islamic State, as well as the Taliban and al-Qaida.

“[W]e will bring your country down to their knees. Praise Allah,” he said. “P.S. This will be the greatest day of my life when is see this on the news it will make me the happiest person.”

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According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, when deputies questioned Russell about the letter, he admitted to writing it and said he meant every word. He claimed that he learned how to make bombs on YouTube and wanted to kill innocent people.

Russell said he was driven to terrorism “because the government put my dad in jail for crimes he didn’t commit and now I’m in jail for things you used to be able to do and now the government says it’s illegal.”

Ethan Russell claims ISIS connections

When deputies pointed out to Russell that he has little bomb-making knowledge and would not be able to join ISIS because he is a Christian, the teen became very upset. He claimed to know American twins who joined the Syria-based terrorist group, but his story about the pair changed repeatedly.


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Russell’s mother said he is autistic and often lies to make himself seem more interesting. She also worried he could hurt his two siblings if released.

Because of the rock-throwing incident, during which he was caught carrying knives and rubber gloves, Russell has been in Volusia County Jail  since March on charges of attempted armed robbery. He has failed to pay his $20,000 bail.

Russell now faces an additional felony charge of written threat to kill or commit an act of terrorism.

According to data tracked by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, as few as 59 Americans are thought to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS.

Cover image: Ethan Russell. (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)



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