A Florida teen responsible for fatally stabbing a 13-year-old boy and injuring two others in a jihadi-inspired attack Monday had previously come to the attention of authorities for his interest in extremist online content.
Corey Johnson, 17, told the police he read the Koran “to give him courage” before going on the violent rampage during a sleepover at a friend’s home, and admitted that the attack was motivated by his “Muslim faith.” He confessed to fatally stabbing the boy and attacking two others, and is being charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
The FBI, Jupiter police, and Palm Beach County School District police had previously investigated Johnson after learning of his “violent tendencies” through “intelligence gathering,” according to the Palm Beach Post. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office apparently received information that Johnson had made attempts to connect with ISIS recruiters online and expressed a desire to join the terror group. The Sheriff’s office responded by tracking Johnson’s social-media accounts and whereabouts.
The FBI had also been investigating Johnson’s alleged involvement in threats that prompted the evacuation of a British school in 2016. That year-long investigation was nearly at an end when Monday’s attack occurred; authorities were planning to charge him for the threats as soon as they secured the necessary affidavits.