A Charlotte, North Carolina, man identified as Erick Jamal Hendricks, 35, was arrested and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison for trying to provide material support for the Islamic State. The affidavit states Hendricks is accused of 18 U.S. Code § 2339B – Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations and 18 U.S. Code § 2339A– Providing material support to terrorists.
He allegedly tried to recruit people over social media for “sleeper cells” in order to plot attacks and carry them out in the U.S. in support of Islamic State. One of his goals was to spend at least $30,000 to make a secure training site in the United States. Hendricks advised his recruits to die as martyrs, to “boobie trap your homes,” to “lay in wait for them,” and to “never leave your home without your AK-47 or M16.” Hendricks told his recruits to avoid prison at all costs, even giving up their lives as martyrs to prevent being arrested. He viewed imprisonment as an act of humiliation. The affidavit also shows he communicated with Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, prior to them carrying out the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas.
A cooperating witness, arrested in June 2015 on terrorism charges in Ohio, helped build the case against Hendricks. Though he is not identified in the affidavit by name, the only person who matches the description in the documents is Amir Said Abdul Rahman Al-Ghazi, previously known as Robert McCollum. Like the cooperating witness mentioned in the affidavit, Al-Ghazi was arrested on terrorism, weapons, and drug charges in June of that year. And, like the cooperating witness, Al-Ghazi pleaded guilty to material support for a terrorist organization and two charges of being a felon in possession of firearms.