(BELLINGHAM, Wash.) — The FBI has arrested a former member of the Army on weapons charges after he allegedly expressed sympathy for ISIS, called Osama bin Laden “a beautiful man” and said the murder of government agents was “a hundred percent obligation,” according to court documents filed in a Washington state federal court.
“I consider myself an ISIS soldier as much as the brothers over there,” Daniel Seth Franey, who served six years in the Army, beginning in 2002, allegedly told an undercover FBI agent. Court documents say he claims to have “deserted” military service, an assertion that the complaint says Department of Defense records back up.
In April 2015, police were told that Franey had been expressing his support for ISIS and wanted to go overseas to “join the fight” or kill Americans at home, the court documents claim.
The FBI then sent in the undercover agent, posing as an underground gun dealer. During their first meeting, Franey described ISIS as “the best people on Earth” and he called Osama bin Laden “a diamond” and “a beautiful man,” according to the FBI.
Over the next several months, Franey continued to express his support for ISIS and his desire to kill police and “deal with a few judges, and deal with a few bankers, and deal with a few politicians and D.A.s…[and] the Secretary of Defense,” according to the FBI.
As part of the investigation, Franey and the undercover agent took several trips out of state to supposedly deliver guns to black-market buyers — and Franey repeatedly asked the undercover agent to obtain guns for him, the charging documents say.
Under a permanent court order, Franey was barred from being in possessions of any guns, but he was with guns on the delivery trips, officials say. On one such trip, he even fired an AR-15 and an AK-47 himself, the FBI says.
In one conversation, Franey allegedly told the undercover agent he wanted to target the military: “I think if there’s a unit, you know, from the Marines and the Army getting ready to ship out, they should be hit. I think if there’s the airbase, a command and control center, they should be hit…. I would love to go hit a Marine unit before they went out.”
He allegedly continued: “[W]ith a couple of tools, you’d be very effective. .. And when you pull the trigger, your objective is to drop somebody.”
Franey has lived in Western Washington for the past three years, occasionally working as a commercial fisherman.
He faces weapons and machine gun possession charges and he was due in court Monday afternoon.
It was not clear if he is being represented.
The case is being prosecuted by a division of the U.S. Attorney General’s office, with assistance from the Counterterrorism Section of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes investigators from federal, state, and local law enforcement.
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