Police arrest NC man after app firm identified him as terror threat

by WorldTribune Staff, February 22, 2017

A messaging app was able to pinpoint the location of a North Carolina man who was arrested for making what authorities said was a terrorist threat.

Garrett Grimsley, 27, of Cary was charged after authorities said he posted an online threat against non-Muslims, ABC11 reported on Feb. 22.

Garrett Grimsley

An AK-47 assault rifle with a collapsible stock, four 30-round magazines, and approximately 340 rounds of 7.62 millimeter ammunition were found in a search of Grimsley’s apartment by the FBI, North Carolina’s SBI and the Cary Police Department.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Grimsley on Feb. 19 wrote on the Whisper messaging app “don’t go to Cary tomorrow.”

ABC11’s report said that a cooperating witness was also on the app and pressed Grimsley, who was writing under the username, “Spark_Pure,” for more information.

In a private message, authorities said Grimsley stated, “Salam, some of you are alright, don’t go to Cary tomorrow.” In the background of the post was a picture of a bearded, middle-aged man wearing camouflage pants and holding a red flag with a black star in the middle.

When the witness asked what was happening in Cary, authorities said Grimsley responded by using a derogatory word for non-Muslims and said that for too long, “they have spit in our faces and trampled our rights.”

“Say your dua (prayers), sleep and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning,” Grimsley added before saying he would be deleting his Whisper account.

Whisper was able to pinpoint the location of “Spark_Pure” and helped send police to the Weston Lakeside Apartments in Cary.

The affidavit details that, as authorities were arriving, Grimsley was messaging someone on Facebook about his posts on Whisper. Police said the two were writing that they were sure Grimsley would get “raided” by law enforcement, the ABC11 report said.

If convicted, Grimsley faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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