CDs bearing radical cleric’s name linked to Detroit man arrested over grenades

Federal authorities would not disclose what the CDs contained, but listed them alongside a stockpile of weapons and ammunition found at the mans home

Several CDs marked with the name of the deceased radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki were seized from the home of a Detroit man arrested after buying five grenades from an undercover federal agent, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by the Detroit News.

Federal authorities would not disclose what the CDs contained, but listed them with seven rifles, two assault rifles, a shotgun, handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, computer equipment and cellphones that were found at Sebastian Gregersons west side home, the newspaper reported on Saturday.

Gregerson, 29, is charged with possessing an unregistered destructive device. He was arrested last Sunday in Monroe, south-west of Detroit.

Court records allege Gregerson spoke about carrying out an unspecified attack. His defense attorney, David Tholen, has said the government is exaggerating his threat.

Tholen said earlier this week that Gregerson was just a survivalist. However, Cathleen Corken, a prosecutore, told the federal magistrate Mona Majzoub on Thursday that Gregerson appeared to be preparing for violent acts, and called him a dangerous man.

Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-Yemeni cleric, was influential among militants living in the west. His English language internet sermons called for jihad, or holy war, against the US. Al-Awlaki was killed in 2011 in Yemen by an unmanned drone.

The FBI has said a US soldier sentenced to death in the 2009 shooting deaths of 13 people at the Fort Hood military base in Texas sent numerous emails to al-Awlaki. The convicted terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, serving a life sentence for trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner in 2009, trained under al-Awlaki.

When you look through most of the cases of individuals who get arrested for terrorism charges, the vast majority had al-Awlaki on their laptops, Seamus Hughes, with the George Washington University program on extremism, told the newspaper.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/06/detroit-man-arrest-anwar-al-awlaki

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