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Las Vegas Terror Attack Thwarted by Social Media Post

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For years, ISIS has threatened to target Las Vegas Strip casinos in terrorist attacks. That may have led a teenager to try to follow through on the threat, but the FBI intervened before he had a chance.

Punishing the 'Enemies of Allah'

The 16-year-old came under law enforcement's scrutiny for pledging allegiance to ISIS and plotting "lone wolf operations in Las Vegas." The unfolding of this alleged terror plot began with the teenager's social media post on November 28, where he proclaimed support for the Islamic State and declared intentions to carry out solo operations against perceived "enemies of Allah."

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The authorities swiftly became aware of this ominous post, leading to the teenager's apprehension only a few days later. Federal agents, in their investigation, uncovered concerning evidence. Deputy Chief Dori Koren, overseeing Metro Police's Homeland Security and Special Operations Division, disclosed that components for constructing an explosive device and terrorist propaganda were among the findings. The social media post itself featured the ISIS flag and Arabic text, adding another layer of distress to the situation.

The collaborative efforts of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's counter-terrorism division played a pivotal role in the swift response. Koren emphasized their ability to mobilize and identify the suspect's location "within hours" of the initial post.

Law enforcement, including SWAT teams, executed multiple warrants to foil the alleged plot and take the teenager into custody. Koren added that it appears that this was only an isolated incident and that there were no indications the teen was part of a larger plot.

Ready for War

Among the items recovered during the operation were a handmade ISIS flag, headband and patches, along with propaganda materials from both ISIS and Al Qaeda. Additionally, authorities found guidance for conducting a terrorist attack and self-portraits of the suspect surrounded by extremist propaganda. However, the most disconcerting discovery was the recovery of components for building improvised explosive devices, along with bomb-making recipes and instructions.

In light of these findings, the minor suspect faces serious charges, including making terroristic threats, attempting to further an act of terrorism, providing material support to a terrorist organization and five counts of possessing explosive components, all of which are classified as felonies. Due to the suspect's status as a minor, his name has been withheld. The case is set to be prosecuted by the Clark County District Attorney's Office in Nevada.

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