Erick Jamal Hendricks of Charlotte, N.C., was arrested Thursday in Ohio for providing material support to ISIS.
A Department of Justice press release stated that Hendricks tried to recruit and train people in the United States to commit terrorist acts. “Hendricks allegedly told another person that his goal was to create a sleeper cell to be trained and housed at a secure compound that would conduct attacks in the United States. He mentioned that potential targets included military members whose information had been released by ISIL and the woman who organized the Draw Prophet Mohammad contest,” the DOJ press release said.
Conservative activist Pamela Geller was the organizer of the Muhammad drawing contest.
In June 2015, another unnamed individual was arrested in Ohio after attempting to buy an AK-47 from an undercover law enforcement agent. This individual had pledged allegiance to ISIS over social media.
Hendricks had contacted him earlier in 2015 and said he “needed” to “get brothers to train together.” Hendricks “claimed to have 10 members signed up for his group.” The DOJ press release stated that Hendricks said, “there were several ‘brothers’ located in Texas and Mexico.” Hendricks sought to have these “brothers” meet “face to face.”
“[The arrested unnamed individual] allegedly believed that Hendricks and the ‘brothers in Texas and Mexico’ may have been responsible for a thwarted terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, on May 3, 2015,” the DOJ press release stated. The two men responsible for the Garland attack were living in Arizona at the time.
The DOJ statement said that Hendricks allegedly contacted the Garland shooters over social media weeks before their attack. He allegedly also told an undercover FBI agent to go to the Garland drawing event. Hendricks told the undercover officer, “If you see that pig (meaning the organizer of the contest) make your ‘voice’ heard against her.” It is unclear whether this undercover agent was present in Garland during the attack.