UNITED STATES NEWS

Colorado teen pleads not guilty to trying to join Islamic State group

Jul 31, 2023, 12:40 PM

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado teenager pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempting to support a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Islamic State group.

Davin Meyer, 18, sat handcuffed at his arraignment in a federal courtroom in Denver and didn’t say anything about the allegations. Earlier this month, Meyer was arrested when he tried to board a plane to Turkey, where prosecutors say he planned to become a fighter for IS.

David Kaplan, Meyer’s attorney, declined to comment on the case. The trial is not yet scheduled.

In November, after he turned 18, Meyer began communicating over the internet with someone he believed was an IS facilitator, and another who presented themselves as an ISIS travel facilitator, according to the arrest affidavit, but both were actually undercover informants.

In a previous court hearing, Meyer’s mother, Deanna Meyer, testified that her son wouldn’t have tried traveling to the Middle East if not for the support of people he met who shared his views, including the FBI informants.

This was in response to a judge’s question about whether her son — who was diagnosed with autism — understood the gravity of the situation, given his condition.

The prosecutor, assistant U.S. attorney Melissa Hindman, argued that the young man was already committed to radical Islam before the informants spoke with him.

During Monday’s hearing, prosecutors didn’t speak about the allegations and the U.S. Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment after the hearing.

Deanna Meyer had reached out to law enforcement when Davin was 17 over concerns about his escalating “radical Islamic beliefs” and openly expressing violent intentions, according to court documents. The FBI was later notified, it said.

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Bedayn is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Colorado teen pleads not guilty to trying to join Islamic State group