State News

The Latest: Man pleads guilty to plotting terrorist attacks

Posted November 29

— The Latest on a plea hearing for a North Carolina man charged with plotting terror attacks (all times local):

1:40 p.m.

A North Carolina man accused of plotting U.S. terror attacks with a member of the Islamic State group has pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge.

Federal officials said in a news release that 20-year-old Justin Sullivan of Morganton pleaded guilty Tuesday in Asheville to one count of attempting to commit an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries. A sentencing hearing hasn't been scheduled, although the release says both sides agree a life sentence is appropriate.

U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose said Sullivan admitted in court that he planned mass shootings in North Carolina and Virginia.

An August indictment said Sullivan spoke with Junaid Hussain in June 2015 via social media about making a video of a terrorist attack in the U.S. to be used by the militant group.

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5:20 a.m.

A North Carolina man accused of plotting a U.S. terror attack that he discussed with a member of the Islamic State group is scheduled to appear in federal court for a plea hearing.

Court documents say the hearing for 20-year-old Justin Sullivan is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

The indictment unsealed in February accused Sullivan of killing his neighbor and stealing his money so he could buy an assault rifle to carry out an IS-inspired shooting at a concert or club.

An indictment filed in August said Sullivan spoke with Junaid Hussain in June 2015 via social media about making a video of a terrorist attack in the U.S. to be used by the militant group. Hussain was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria in August 2015.

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