RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Federal authorities have charged a 27-year-old Cary man after they say he made an online threat, said non-Muslims had “spit in our faces,” and had an AK-47 and 340 rounds of ammunition, according to a federal prosecutor.
John Stuart Bruce, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, announced the arrest Tuesday, but the man was actually arrested Sunday, the same day the post was made.
Garrett Grimsley used the app Whisper to make post Sunday, stating, “Salam, some of you are alright, don’t go to Cary tomorrow,” according to an affidavit filed by a Cary police officer in support of the federal criminal complaint against Grimsley.
The post had a picture of a man with camouflage pants and holding a red flag with a black star in the middle, according to the affidavit.
“For too long the kuffar (non-Muslims) have spit in our faces and trampled our rights,” Grimsley told a cooperating witness in a private message, according to the affidavit. “This cannot continue. I cannot speak of anything. Say your dua (prayers), sleep, and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning, insha’Allah.”
The officer adds that “insh’Allah” is Arabic for “God willing.”
Requests to Whisper’s corporate offices yielded an Internet protocol address and GPS coordinates associated with the online name the postings were made under, Spark_Pure, according to the officer’s statement. A request to Time Warner Cable then allowed investigators to match the internet protocol address with a name, address and phone number, according to the affidavit.
Grimsley was home when authorities raided his home and refused to answer their questions, according to the affidavit.
Officers who entered the home found a notification on Grimsley’s computer that it was 63 percent of the way through encrypting the hard drive, according to the affidavit.
The computer screen also had visible Facebook conversations between Grimsley and a user going by the name Tim Tam, which included a screenshot of Grimsley’s Whisper messages.
Tim Tam stated ‘we’re going to be on CNN tomorrow,” in one of the messages, according to the affidavit.
In another, according to the statement, “Grimsely” wrote, “holy (expletive) I’m actually going to get raided.”
In one message, Grimsley said he “yell(s) all the time about jihad,” then blames it on “too much CSGO … and nasheeds,” according to the affidavit. The author of the affidavit explains that CSGO most likely means Counter Strike: Global Offensive, a video game, and that nasheeds are Islamic vidoes with speeches and music.
The affidavit also includes the following statement:
‘Grimsley’ also stated, ‘the FBI will understand I was only reading Dabiq for the pictures, right?’ (NOTE – Dabiq is an online extremist magazine published by the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)).
A search of Grimsley’s apartment turned up an AK-47 with a collapsible stock, four 30-round magazines and about 340 rounds of ammunition, according to the affidavit.
“That’s surprising. Yeah, its surprising. Sorry. I’m just still shocked that one of my neighbors had a AK-47 and all that ammo. So processing this is a little difficult,” said neighbor Michael Rowland.
Grimsely is charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce to injure the person of another, according to the prosecutor’s office. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI, Cary Police and the SBI are investigating.
Grimsley is also facing a state charge of cyberstalking, authorities said.