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Disturbing details emerge in motion filed opposing bond for alleged ISIS sympathizer

DETROIT – The feds filed a motion last week in response to the attempts of a Dearborn Heights man accused of terrorist plots to be released on bond.

Khalil Abu-Rayyan, 21, faced gun and drug-related charges. He pleaded guilty to the gun charge in exchange for dismissal of the drug charge. It is unclear if he will be charged with terrorism-related crimes.

The opposition to the defendant’s motion of revocation of detention order was filed in response to Abu-Rayyan’s motion for bond.

The motion says Abu-Rayyan remains a danger to the community and a flight risk due to his “consistent support of ISIS, his continually voiced desire to engage in a martyrdom operation, his fascination with death and killing, particularly beheadings, his on-going mental health issues, his possession and attempted possession of firearms, his drug us, and his prior assaultive conduct.”

Abu-Rayyan’s background

According to the motion, Abu-Rayyan was referred to counseling at age 12 because he told his teacher that he dreamed he had a gun and shot everyone in the class.

He went to Star International Academy.

Abu-Rayyan had engaged in assaultive behavior in school requiring him to be suspended from school on three or four occasions, according to the motion. Police were called when he fought with his brother, and Abu-Rayyan was arrested.

In July 2014, he discussed conducting jihad because he believed that Israel was “killing everyone” and that he could not be a bystander to genocide, according to the motion filed.

The motion details Abu-Rayyan’s use of social media and his following of ISIS propaganda on Twitter. It states he posted positive comments after viewing the executions and killings depicted in videos. Images and screen shots of ISIL videos flooded his phone. Some of the images included the ISIS flag, people with firearms, people in orange jumpsuits who appeared to be burned alive and many other disturbing images.

In a text message from his brother on Dec. 12, Abu-Rayyan said:

“This would be a perfect time to do a istishadi operation.”

Istishad is an Arabic word for martyrdom.

The case

Federal authorities arrested Abu-Rayyan in February. He had been watched by the feds since May 2015 and was having online conversations with an undercover FBI agent.

In conversations between Abu-Rayyan and the undercover agent, Abu-Rayyan described his desire to commit a martyrdom operation.

“I tried to shoot up a church one day. It’s one of the biggest ones in Detroit. I had it planned out. I bought a bunch of bullets. I practiced reloading and unloading.”

The complaint filed in federal court didn’t specify which Detroit church he was allegedly planning to attack, only that it was close and could seat 6,000 members.

“It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news. Everybody would’ve heard. Honestly I regret not doing it. If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”

READ: Criminal complaint

READ: Opposition to motion of revocation of detention order

Gun charges

Abu-Rayyan was pulled over Oct. 7, 2015, for speeding when Detroit police discovered a pistol, sleeping pills and marijuana in his vehicle.

Judge Craig Strong sentenced him to two years of probation including drug testing and 80 hours of community service.

Abu-Rayyan spoke at the sentencing saying that he is not a criminal or a thug, and said he is “not affiliated with anyone” before his attorney stopped him, saying he cannot comment about the federal complaint.