Philadelphia teen charged in terrorism probe after communicating with terror group: FBI

Federal and local authorities in Philadelphia have announced charges against a juvenile in connection with a terrorism probe. 

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline McGuire held a press conference Monday to announce the arrest of a 17-year-old in the case. 

Investigators allege that the suspect had communicated with Katibat al Tawhid wal Jihad (KTJ), which was designated as a global terrorist group by the United States Government in 2022. The group is also said to be affiliated with Al-Qaida. 

According to the FBI, the teen was also sending and receiving terrorist propaganda and guidance on committing criminal acts, including how to construct a bomb. They also say he appeared to be taking steps to travel overseas for the purpose of joining, or supporting, terrorist activity. 

"Most concerning however, was the evidence that he had access to firearms and had purchased items and materials commonly used in the construction of improvised explosive devices," McGuire said Monday.


Among the items allegedly purchased were tactical equipment, chemicals, wiring, and devices often used as remote detonators. Authorities say some of the items were purchased in the last few weeks. 

"These purchases quickly escalated this case in both threat and priority for our office," McGuire added. "This was now a situation where we believe public safety was at risk."

The FBI and Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office were able to obtain a warrant for the individuals arrest, as well as a search. The suspect was taken into custody by the FBI on Friday. 

The teen suspect is currently charged with weapons of mass destruction, criminal conspiracy, arson, causing or risking catastrophe, and related offenses. 

The District Attorney’s office and FBI have not publicly identified the suspect due to his age.