HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The case against Aziz Sayyed, the Madison County man charged with soliciting/providing support for an act of terrorism, could have ended in tragedy. But, thanks to the swift, detailed action of local and federal law enforcement, and the tip-off from a friend to authorities about Sayyed's radicalization, he was arrested. Sayyed later pleaded guilty.
"To see kind of the inner workings and really the diabolical plan that they were planning to do here amongst our people," Tim Gann said. Gann is the Chief Trial Attorney for the Madison County District Attorney's Office.
Sayyed was never able to build the bomb, thanks to local and federal law enforcement agents and prosecutors who kept their eyes on him. STAC agent Brad Snipes, a Huntsville Police Department investigator, testified that the investigation into Sayyed began in January by the FBI.
Snipes also testified that at some point, Sayyed was being monitored 24-hours a day, seven days a week. During that period, he was observed buying materials at two different Walmarts in early June 2017 that could be used to help make the bomb, including acetone and hydrogen peroxide.
"They knew every move Mr. Sayyed made, they knew everything that he had looked at," Bruce Gardner, Sayyed's defense attorney, said.
Jay Town, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, previously said Sayyed's crime was about what he'd committed to do.
"He did pledge allegiance to ISIS, along with his intent to provide that material support," Town said in a previous news conference regarding Sayyed.
The FBI presented Gann with a certificate of recognition for a job well done on a case that is known nationally.
"This is gone all the way up to Washington and is being used as a test case," Gann said.
Gann said the follow through of the whole Sayyed case by police and prosecutors should give people confidence for the future.
As for Sayyed, he's in prison for 15 years and the government will monitor him for the rest of his life.