A 20-year-old California community college student accused of wanting to fight for Al Qaeda in Syria had not only failed basic aptitude tests at
Charged with a single count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, Teausant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, according to prosecutors.
The California National Guard issued a statement Tuesday, saying that while Teausant enlisted in 2012, he had failed to meet basic education requirements, and so never attended basic training. He also never trained or served as a soldier in the California National Guard, Capt. Will Martin said in the statement.
"In fact, he was pending discharge at the time of his arrest," he said, adding that the California National Guard was fully cooperating with investigators.
Federal authorities outlined in an affidavit extensive exchanges between the informant and Teausant, in which Teausant allegedly detailed his desire to travel to the Middle East to join Islamic extremists and harm the United States.
In December, he sent a text message to the informant asking how he could obtain fireworks, according to the affidavit. "The big loud one! With the biggest boom and the one that's also compact!!" Teausant allegedly wrote in the message.
He then allegedly texted: "Don't go to LA Anytime soo[n] … Please trust me on this … and if you do go don't use the subway." Teausant told the source over the phone that he and a group of people had discussed "hitting" the L.A.-area subway on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, authorities alleged. (The Sacramento-based FBI agent who wrote the affidavit pointed out in a footnote: "While not well known, there is a subway/rail system in Los Angeles.")
Teausant later said the plot had been called off because authorities had been tipped off, according to the affidavit.