Judge rules to keep Virginia man in jail until trial on aiding terror charge

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A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that a Virginia man must remain in jail until trial on a charge that he tried to aid a terrorist group in Iraq, while his public defender argued that he was “entrapped” by undercover FBI agents over “bravado and talk.”

(FOX)- Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard said Lionel Williams, 26, of Suffolk, Virginia, poses too much of a danger to society.

Williams allegedly swore allegiance to the Islamic State group in Iraq on Facebook. After undercover FBI agents approached him as people aligned with the group, Williams gave $250 to help them buy weapons, according to court documents.

Williams also owned an AK-47 assault rifle and allegedly told undercover agents that he wanted to commit a local “martyrdom operation” before his arrest in late December.

The judge said that even without his AK-47, which the FBI confiscated, Williams could pose a threat “as we’ve seen in Berlin and Nice” where terrorists struck pedestrians with trucks.

In trying to free Williams before trial, federal public defender Keith Kimball argued that prosecutors have a weak case. He said Williams’ discussions about the Islamic State group were simply political speech and religious rhetoric that are constitutionally protected.

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