Man accused of posting online threat against non-Muslims has Wilmington connections

Man accused of posting online threat against non-Muslims has Wilmington connections

CARY (WECT) - A man facing federal charges for allegedly posting an online threat against non-Muslims has connections to Wilmington.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Garrett Grimsley, 27, who now lives in Cary, made a public post on the messaging app Whisper under the username "Spark_Pure" Sunday, saying, "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.

A cooperating witness responded to the post, asking, "Why – what's happening in Cary tomorrow."

The two then communicated privately, during which Grimsley said, "Asalam alaikum brother. For too long the kuffar (derogatory term extremists use for non-Muslims) have spit in our faces and trampled our rights. This cannot continue. I cannot speak of anything. Say your dua (prayers), sleep, and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning, insha'Allah (God willing)," according to the document.

Grimsley then added he was deleting his Whisper account, and ceased communicating with the witness.

Whisper provided authorities with the location of the "Spark_Pure" account, which paired with other data and records led police to Grimley's address of 3116 Lakeside View Court in Cary.

Law enforcement officers from the FBI and the Cary Police Department then obtained and executed a search warrant on Grimsley's address Sunday.

"Garrett Grimsley was present in the apartment alone and refused to answer questions by the agents," the document states.

While searching the apartment, authorities located a computer with a "lengthy" Facebook message between Grimsley and another person, which indicated they were both expecting Grimsley to get "raided" by law enforcement.

"At one point, [the Facebook user] stated 'we're going to be on CNN tomorrow (expletive)' and later 'I swear to god you're going to get a swat team,'" the affidavit details.

The document goes on to state Grimsley apparently spotted a surveillance vehicle, and told the other person, "(expletive) I'm actually going to get raided." Grimsley and the other person then discussed encrypting his hard drive, and were apparently 63 percent complete with the process before the raid.

Other Facebook comments made by Grimsley to other person included him stating, "I yell about jihad and shooting all the people all the time, too much CSGO," a likely reference to Counter Strike Global Offensive video game, according to the document.

Authorities also recovered an AK-47 assault rifle with a collapsible stock, four 30-round magazines, and approximately 340 rounds of 7.62 millimeter ammunition from Grimsley's apartment.

Grimsley was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce to injure a person. He was also charged with cyberstalking by the Cary Police Department, according to WRAL.

Grimsley graduated from UNCW in July 2016 with a bachelor of science in computer science after transferring from Cape Fear Community College in spring 2014. He also worked as an undergraduate student employee at UNCW from September 2014 through July 2016.

Grimsley is also a former Hoggard High School student. He graduated in 2008.

If convicted, Grimsley could face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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