Clarkston Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Attempting to Provide Material Support to Terrorists
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 12, 2013|
SPOKANE—Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Joseph Jefferey Brice, age 23, of Clarkston, Washington, was sentenced after previously pleading guilty on September 25, 2012, to the crimes of attempting to provide material support to terrorists and manufacturing an unregistered explosive device. Following a day-long sentencing hearing on June 11, 2013, Senior United States District Court Judge Lonnie R. Suko sentenced Brice to a 12 ½-year term of imprisonment and a life term of court supervision following release from federal prison. In imposing the sentence, Judge Suko focused on the need to protect the public from Brice in the future.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred on April 18, 2010, when an explosive device made by Brice prematurely ignited, causing him significant injuries. Subsequent to his hospitalization, Brice apparently self-radicalized and then began using social media to espouse his newfound radical beliefs. Brice caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force (INJTTF) after he posted explosive-related videos and jihad martyrs videos on a YouTube channel he registered under the name “StrenghofAllah.” During its investigation, the FBI learned that Brice had utilized social media such as YouTube and both public and private Internet sites to express his ongoing interests in explosives, terrorists, and terrorist organizations. Brice used numerous pseudonyms to discuss and defend Timothy McVeigh, who was responsible for the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing in 1995. Brice posted dedication videos of Timothy McVeigh on YouTube in January 2010 and December 2010. Significantly, Brice also posted a comment on the Internet in which he said, “Tim’s characteristics are nearly the same as myself, physically/politically. Between December 2010 and May 2011, Brice had both public and private contact with a foreign-based jihadi Internet site, upon which Brice posted instructions on the manufacturing of chemical improvised destructive devices (IEDs) and other anti-law enforcement literature. In May 2011, after being asked over the Internet for help with a problem that a purported “terrorist” was having with detonating chemical IEDs that were intended to be used in retaliation for the death of Osama bin Laden, Brice agreed and provided a correct, chemical-based, firing train formula.
Michael C. Ormsby said, “Aggressively investigating and prosecuting terrorist-related crimes is the number one priority for the United States Department of Justice and for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. Acts such as those committed by Brice will not go unpunished.”
“Mr. Brice’s obsession with explosives and damage is disturbing, but his interest in using them to kill indiscriminately is downright appalling,” said Special Agent in Charge Laura M. Laughlin of the FBI Seattle Field Office. “His sick, violent aspirations led him to share his designs even with those targeting fellow Americans. If Mr. Brice ever hopes to be a true member of any free society, he should use his years in prison to develop respect for the lives of others.”
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Russell E. Smoot, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.