Huntsville man charged with supporting act of terrorism, law enforcement say threat is over

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Huntsville Police Department has charged a man with Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism.

22-year-old Aziz Sayyed, of Huntsville, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon. The arrest is the result of a tip from a citizen.  Sayyed was stopped and taken into custody in the area of Church Street and Clinton Avenue.  Investigators say Sayyed is a U.S. citizen, born in North Carolina.

Shortly after a news conference announcing the arrest, police confirmed that an active investigation scene at Twickenham Village, an apartment complex just north of University Drive in the area of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, was linked to the charges against Sayyed.

The FBI also confirmed they were on scene at the apartment complex.

Police say they were executing a search warrant at an apartment where Sayyed was allegedly staying.

The Huntsville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are jointly investigating the case with support from the Madison County Sheriff's Office. No specifics of the threat have been released, but both agencies say the arrest eliminates any threat to the Huntsville/Madison County area, including Redstone Arsenal.

"We successfully mitigated a threat today with this arrest," said Roger Stanton, FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge.

Further details have not been released, as the investigation is ongoing. But authorities stressed that the threat posed by the individual is over.

"If you see something, you need to tell us. You need to say something. This investigation actually started as a tip. It was a tip that something wasn't right," said HPD Chief Mark McMurray.

"That went to another person. They called their local law enforcement and luckily, we have this joint relationship with the federal government and we all work these situations together to the end. This one was a very successful end because it was concluded before it got out of hand. Thank you so much," he added.

Sayyed faces state charges, with no federal charges at this time. He's specifically being charged under state code 13A-10-153, which defines the crime as:

(a)(1) A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree when, with intent that material support or resources will be used, in whole or in part, to plan, prepare, carry out, or aid in either an act of terrorism or the concealment of, or an escape from, an act of terrorism, he or she raises, solicits, collects, or provides material support or resources.

(2) Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree is a Class C felony.

(b)(1) A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree and the total value of material support or resources exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(2) Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree is a Class B felony.

The prosecutor who announced the charges, Tim Gann of the Madison County District Attorney's Office, did not specify which degree of offense Sayyed has been arrested for at this time.