SEATTLE (AP) — A 20-year-old Seattle man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a federal charge that he tried to join the Islamic State group.
Elvin Hunter Bgorn Williams was arrested late last month at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as he checked in for a flight to Cairo, according to federal prosecutors. A complaint filed in U.S. District Court said members of a Seattle-area mosque who had been trying to de-radicalize Williams were the ones who tipped off the FBI that he continued to espouse violence and extremism.
Williams appeared by video conference for his arraignment Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Kate Vaughan. His attorney, public defender Mohammad Hamoudi, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf to one count of providing material support to a foreign terror group.
Hamoudi told the judge that the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac had denied his requests to meet with his client or speak with him by phone. Williams’ defense team had not been able to speak with him since Hamoudi’s co-counsel, Corey Endo, met with him shortly after the arrest, Hamoudi said.