Sunday, 29 Nov 2020

US teen charged over child porn had researched killing Biden: Court

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A 19-year-old man charged with possession of child pornography and arrested over a van-load of weapons had conducted Internet searches related to killing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, according to court documents.

Alexander Hillel Treisman was arrested in May after a search of his abandoned white Ford van in Kannapolis, North Carolina revealed several weapons including an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and a canister of explosive material.

The search also found books on bomb-making, US$509,000 (S$690,000), and drawings of swastikas and planes crashing into buildings, according to the Oct 6 filing in the US District Court for the Middle District, North Carolina.

The currency was believed to be Treisman’s inheritance, officials said in the filing.

Following his arrest, the Federal Bureau of Investigation searched his phone, computers and other devices and found 1,248 videos and 6,721 images of child pornography content, according to federal prosecutors.

Joint Terrorism Task Forces investigators also found that on April 15, Treisman had posted an iFunny meme captioned “should I kill joe biden?”, and that between March and May, he had conducted Internet searches seeking information about Mr Biden’s home address, state gun laws and night vision goggles.

He also purchased an AR-15 in New Hampshire, travelled to a Wendy’s fast food restaurant within 6km of Mr Biden’s home and wrote a checklist note ending with “execute”, according to testimony by officers in the court filing, first reported by the Daily Beast on Thursday (Oct 22).

After his arrest, the “defendant disclosed that he has an interest in terrorist incidents and mass shootings”, and had travelled across the country to buy a variety of firearms, the document said.

Treisman was arrested on May 28 and was indicted by a federal grand jury for possession of child pornography on Sept 28, it said.

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Treisman did not have any prior criminal history.

ABC News said it was not clear why he has so far just been charged with possession of child pornography.

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