Lionel Nelson Williams, 26, of Suffolk, Virginia was charged today with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Williams was arrested yesterday in Suffolk.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente for the Eastern District of Virginia and Special Agent in Charge Martin W. Culbreth of the FBI’s Norfolk, Virginia Field Office made the announcement.
According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, in October and November 2016, Williams sent money to a person he believed was collecting money for ISIL to purchase weapons and ammunition for ISIL fighters. Williams also posted content on social media indicating his support for ISIL and attacks targeting police officers, military and armed civilians. In addition, the investigation revealed that Williams ordered an AK-47 assault rifle the day after the terror attack in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. Two firearms, including a semi-automatic rifle consistent with the appearance of an AK-47, were recovered in a post-arrest search of Williams’ residence.
Williams faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was investigated by the Norfolk Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Suffolk Police Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Andrew C. Bosse for the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Alicia Cook of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.