Feds: Delta College Student Tried To Join Syrian Al-Qaeda Faction
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ACAMPO (CBS/AP) — A 20-year-old Delta College student is under arrest, accused of trying to make a connection with al-Qaeda.
Nicholas Teausant is facing federal terrorism charges after claiming he wanted to blow up the Los Angeles subway and fight in Syria.
In April 2012, investigators say he enlisted in the National Guard in Stockton. Now, he stands accused of plotting to help destroy the country he once swore to protect.
After joining the guard, prosecutors say he turned to thoughts of volence against his own country, posing on his Instagram account: “I been part of the army for two years now and I would love to join Allah’s army but I don’t even know how to start.”
Teausant never went through basic training and was being discharged because he didn’t complete the basic training requirements.
Teausant’s mother spoke only to CBS13, tearfully saying she supported her son’s faith, but this was a side of him she never saw.
“He’s not a terrorist, he’s not evil, he doesn’t do mean things, he doesn’t hurt people,” she said.
Investigators say he made contact with someone who turned out to be an undercover FBI informant. According to the criminal complaint, he discussed a plan last December to bomb the Los Angeles subway.
At one point, the informant questioned him about whether he was serious about his plans, given that he talked a lot but did not seem to follow through.
A month later, he allegedly told the informant he wanted to fight in Syria’s civil war alongside a faction of al-Qaeda saying he wanted to be a commander.
“Like I want my face on FBI’s Top 12 most wanted. Because that means I’m doing something right.”
All of this while living at home in Acampo, quietly attending school at San Joaquin Delta College.
“He’s kind of a nerd, and he doesn’t make threats and say, ‘I’m gonna do this,’” said student Edward Lewis. “I’ve never seen him push his religion on anybody.”
Teausant was caught by U.S. Customs agents Sunday onboard a bus, just miles from Canada.
Prosecutors claim the terror suspect was on his way overseas, determined to carry out his plans.
In one particularly chilling passage from the criminal complaint, “Teausant expressed his desire for his mother to ‘try something’ so he could have an excuse to put a bullet in her head and ‘five or six’ bullets in his stepfather’s head.”
He faces up to 15 years in prison and he will be heading back to Sacramento from Seattle for the remainder of his trial.
The maximum penalty for attempting to provide support to a foreign terrorist organization is 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
<em>(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or Redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)</em>