Published March 18, 2014
A California college student who allegedly discussed attacking the Los Angeles subway system was arrested Monday on suspicion of attempting to provide material assistance to a foreign terrorist organization, authorities said.
Nicholas Michael Teausant, 20, of Acampo, near Stockton, was arrested in Blaine, Wash., near the U.S.-Canadian border, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said in a release. Teausant agreed during a hearing Monday at U.S. District Court in Seattle to be extradited to California to face the charge.
According to a federal complaint, Teausant told an informant working with the FBI that he and his friends discussed "hitting" Los Angeles subways on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.
The informant allegedly received a text message from Teausant asking about buying fireworks "with the biggest boom," the complaint said.
A later text from the defendant allegedly advised, "Don't go to L.A." and "if you do don't use the subway," according to the complaint. When an informant questioned Teausant on Jan. 4 about what happened to his plan, Teausant responded that it was canceled because "they" had been "tipped off," the complaint said.
Authorities described Teausant as a student at San Joaquin Delta Community College in Stockton who also was about to be released from the National Guard for not meeting minimum qualifications to continue.
Prosecutors contend Teausant went to the Canadian border in hopes of traveling to Syria to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, an Islamist militant group fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Teausant was making plans to fight in Syria and told the informant that he wanted to "train fighters in Syria to shoot properly," prosecutors allege in the complaint. His plan involved first going to Canada via Greyhound to maintain a low profile, officials said. If convicted, Teausant faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.