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FBI Turns 18-Year-Old With An IQ Of 51 Into A Terrorist; Dumps Case Into Laps Of Local Prosecutors

from the truly,-the-A-bomb-drop-of-the-War-on-Terror dept

Another would-be terrorist is in the hands of law enforcement, thanks to a joint effort by the FBI and the St. Clair (Alabama) Sheriff’s Department. (h/t The Free Thought Project)

An Alabama prosecutor says an 18-year-old has been charged with soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism, though details of the case aren’t being released.

St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor said Tuesday that 18-year-old Peyton Pruitt of St. Clair County was arrested and charged Friday.

County Judge Alan Furr set Pruitt’s bail at $1 million and refused to lower it, despite evidence surfacing that the young man is developmentally-disabled (IQ estimated at 52-58, last tested at 51) and the total amount of “support” was “less than $1,000” — a Class C felony, which normally results in much lower bail amounts. (The guidelines in the state’s criminal procedure rules suggest a $5,000-$15,000 range, although judges are free to depart from this recommendation.)

Judge Alan Furr must not like alleged terrorist sympathizers. Two accused murderers and a teacher charged with sexual misconduct involving a student who previously faced Judge Furr combined for less than half the amount set for Pruitt ($450,000).

This is the dangerous terrorist now behind bars.

Witnesses, friends and family members uniformly described Pruitt as a “child” – a teenager with an IQ of 51 who cannot tie his own shoes, soils his clothes, has little verbal skills and lacks the ability to distinguish reality from fantasy.

The FBI, which has never shown any reluctance to trumpet its ability to push mentally-challenged people towards acts of terrorism, doesn’t have much to say about this particular bust. It seems content to let local law enforcement run with this one, bringing state charges rather than federal. But it’s still behind the elevation of Pruitt from a guy who needs assistance using the restroom to a guy who provides assistance to enemies of the United States.

Chief Investigator Tommy Dixon testified, reading from an FBI transcript of a four-hour interview on Nov. 13 with Pruitt, that the teenager expressed sympathy with Islam and shared information on how to construct bombs that he obtained from Inspire, an online magazine linked to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. To access the information, Pruitt referred them to a Wicr [sic] account, an encrypted instant messaging application.

Dixon said Pruitt had told the FBI “he would be happy” if acts of terrorism were carried out. “He felt it would be understandable,” he said. He also suggested targets for terrorism, including the CIA headquarters, police stations and “big events” such as football games, Dixon said.

Beyond quoting from FBI interview transcripts, local prosecutors and law enforcement have said nothing about the case. They claim they can’t jeopardize an ongoing information. But it appears they may not actually be in possession of much more than what the FBI has handed them, which may not be everything it has.

Under repeated questions from Pruitt’s attorney Gibson Holladay, Dixon said his testimony came from the FBI transcript and not any first hand evidence. Holladay also questioned the logic of charging Pruitt with soliciting material support for a terrorist act by reading the statute and asking if Pruitt had provided a safe house, or false documents, or money, or transportation to terrorists. Dixon said he had no knowledge of whether he had or hadn’t. Prosecutors objected to the questions.

“All you’ve got is Peyton’s statement, right?” Holladay said. “You couldn’t tell me if Peyton contacted Santa Claus or a terrorist, can you? Was it a bomb or a recipe for banana pudding? You don’t know, do you?”

It certainly looks like the FBI realized it has a potential PR nightmare on its hands and somehow persuaded the locals to take the case. The agency is refusing to answer any questions, referring all queries to the St. Clair County District Attorney’s office.

The few things local prosecutors have actually said — that aren’t direct quotes from FBI paperwork — have been completely ridiculous.

Dixon said in his testimony that the FBI is still reviewing Pruitt’s computer. But several of Minor’s questions suggested other evidence. During Waldrop’s testimony, Minor asked if she would be surprised to learn Pruitt had used an encrypted website, she said yes.

Reading statements, he asked, “Would it surprise you that he can quote the Koran?” She said yes.

Both perfectly legal acts. I use an “encrypted website.” (This apparently refers to Wickr, suggesting prosecutors really have no idea what they’re actually dealing with.) I use Wickr and can quote from religious texts (even the unpopular ones). So what? Even combined, these two things add up to nothing. But these prosecutors are trying desperately to make both acts sound ominous and supportive of their assertions that an 18-year-old incapable of tying his own shoelaces posed a legitimate threat to those around him and, indeed, the security of the nation.

Thanks to the same judge who refused to lower Pruitt’s bail, prosecutors won’t have to face any tough questions in the immediate future.

A St. Clair County judge sent the case of a teenager accused of soliciting support for a terrorist act onto a grand jury as part of a two-hour preliminary hearing in Pell City today.

This is the normal chain of events for serious felonies in Alabama, but one that will allow the prosecutors to present the FBI’s evidence without being challenged by incredulous defense attorneys or distracted by the sight of the defendant silently “rocking back and forth” while the next 1-10 years of his life are discussed.

From here, it looks as though the FBI has finally developed a sense of shame and has chosen to ditch this turdball with local prosecutors. Unfortunately, its sense of shame hasn’t compelled it to drop the case or otherwise dissuade far-too-enthusiastic prosecutors from pursuing this further. Both ISIS and the FBI have a fondness for “useful idiots,” but neither should actually find anything useful in a person who’s mentally unable to handle their own bodily functions, much less contribute to a terrorist group in any meaningful way.

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Comments on “FBI Turns 18-Year-Old With An IQ Of 51 Into A Terrorist; Dumps Case Into Laps Of Local Prosecutors”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

"No Mam, we at the FBI do not have a sense of shame that we are aware of."

From here, it looks as though the FBI has finally developed a sense of shame and has chosen to ditch this turdball with local prosecutors.

Shame? Please, you’re talking about scum that threw a mental child into the legal meatgrinder, the only reason they are trying to distance themselves from it is that someone in the agency had two brain-cells knock together and realized that if they tried to use this to trumpet how ‘effective’ their ‘anti-terrorism’ efforts are, if someone did any investigation the FBI would come out looking all kinds of terrible.

They didn’t have any sense of shame when they set the kid up, they don’t have any now, the only thing they do have is a survival instinct and a realization that they can’t use this case for their own gains without risking a PR nightmare. That is the only reason they dropped it on the locals(who apparently don’t share the FBI’s survival instinct, or just flat out don’t care who’s life they ruin so long as they can score a conviction), it has nothing to do with ‘shame’.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies … those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. – C. S. Lewis

When you’ve fooled yourself into thinking that you’re ‘on the side of good’, or the only thing you care about is numbers such as ‘how many ‘terrorists’ do we have to ‘stop’ to keep our current budget?’, then anything, no matter how atrocious, becomes acceptable.

As the various government agencies have shown, there is nothing they will not do, no atrocity they will not commit should they have the capability to do so, and no depth they will not sink to, so long as it benefits them and/or they can convince themselves that it’s ‘for the greater good’. Having any expectations of them higher than that is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It’s only going to get worse from here.

Oh, it has already gotten much, much worse.

Its just that we only see the tiniest tip of this iceberg and only occasionally, because the Truth Free Press seldom reports real events, for fear that their corporate sponsors might withdraw their monetary support. Reports like this are only examined by the lesser press – the “fringe”.

But rest assured that for every event like this that rises to the surface of the chamber pot that is modern America, hundreds more go entirely unreported every day and never enter public awareness at all.

Groaker (profile) says:

Re: IQ

Intellectual capacity is complex, and its measurement is not particularly meaningful in any precise sense. Not does it predict behavioral capabilities.

I once knew a severe Downs who could not take care of herself. So severe that she could not speak under most circumstances. But she taught herself to read from her father’s law books. We used to say that was what caused her difficulties. It was assumed that she was engaging in mimicry until someone noticed that she always held the books up the right way.

An example: If she was asked what she wanted for dessert (ice cream was the standard nightly fare,) she could not reply. But if asked again with the words ice cream written on a piece of paper in front of her, she could then say “ice cream.” Clearly part of her problem was I/O.

In short, IQ does not necessarily correlate with the level of skills and abilities. There are often great surprises, especially at both ends of the spectrum.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here's some perspective

According to the Global Down Syndrome Foundation:

“In people with Down syndrome, 39.4% are in the mild intellectual disability range of 50-70, and 1% in the borderline intellectual function range of 70-80 (average IQ in the general population is 70-130).”

I’m not saying this kid has Down Syndrome but now people can have an idea of what this kid’s IQ is and the government is trying to make him an example. It’s truly disgusting.


That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Here's some perspective

The entire case should have been thrown out already due to how completely insane and warped it is, but the fact that the judge not only hasn’t thrown it out, but set bail twice as high as the combined bail amounts for ‘Two accused murderers and a teacher charged with sexual misconduct involving a student’ indicates that both prosecution and the judge don’t give a damn about justice, they just want to be able to brag about the ‘terrorist’ they threw in jail.

Bad enough that the FBI is staffed with sociopaths who don’t give a damn how many lives they ruin in their attempt to justify their budget, to have a judge and prosecutor not only take the case but run with it indicates all of them are disgusting excuses for ‘professionals’.

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Kidding/not kidding

Both perfectly legal acts. I use an “encrypted website.” (This apparently refers to Wickr, suggesting prosecutors really have no idea what they’re actually dealing with.) I use Wickr and can quote from religious texts (even the unpopular ones).

Karl, do you think that if the government ever decided to come after you that they would *not* use this information against you?

Anonymous Coward says:

I wonder how it will go in court.

My guess is that the procecutors will go the Rainman Road: “Did you see that movie about that guy, who could count like a million toothpicks in a second flat and remember an entire phonebook… Imagine what terrorists could do with that”
If that fails they will try to convince the court that the kid has been a terrorist sympathizer since birth and that he just faked his way through all the IQ tests.

That is how cartoonishly warped I see this whole hunt for terrorists today.
It would be funny if not for the fact that it involves real people who gets their lives destroyed by zealots.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, it MIGHT indicate some level of intelligence, I guess. Except that you don’t even need to know that a website is encrypted to use it, so that’s totally invalid. You may as well just say he was using “a website”.

Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia are encrypted to at least some degree. Amazon… is not encrypted if you’re just browsing? Huh. Techdirt, of course, is encrypted. The public FBI website is encrypted, and so is the White House website. The home pages of my congressman and senators are not encrypted, but they all have encrypted pages for things like scheduling meetings or taking surveys. Unless you were looking or you got a warning from your browser, you wouldn’t even realize when you switched.

Ryunosuke (profile) says:

sooo lets recap

Use Encrypted websites – check
Can quote religious text – check
Has lower developmental IQ compared to Adults thier biological age – Check

That list also includes:

Law Enforcement (notably FOP)
Congressment (Particularly Republicans)
ANY Judge in the State of Alabama

QUICK, they are all Terrorists! Round them up and stuff them in jails!


JustMe (profile) says:

Find me some place, any place

That doesn’t have this level of institutionalized stupidity and I’ll move there. The last ‘FBI Win’ a week ago was a dude that needed a ride to Walmart AND a loan of $40 from the CI to purchase the ‘terror’ supplies.

And yet, the Feds didn’t know about Tim McVey, the first Twin Towers attack, the USS Cole in 2000, the 9/11 bombers, the London subway people, Charlie Hebdo (on this anniversary day), the Paris Opera, or California last month.

While I get that they need to maintain OpSec and CIs and methods how about freaking just stopping something for once? Or at least proving to us that you stopped people who were CAPABLE of something, unlike this poor soul who needs help just to function.

GEMont (profile) says:

Tell a lie often enough and it becomes history.

I’d love to see a transcript of FOX news’ version of this event. I’d wager the lad’s IQ and mental incapacity are never mentioned.

And once again, the hard-of-thinking will go to bed saying “lord be praised”, knowing their heroes at the FBI saved their worthless butts from another “muzlum terrist”.

Propaganda is only effective when its regularly repeated after all.

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