A South Carolina teenager who plotted to join the Islamic State terrorist group and kill American soldiers was granted parole Wednesday after serving only one year of his five-year sentence. The 17-year-old, whose family is from Syria, had pled guilty to gun charges a year ago. He had planned to rob a gun store before fleeing to Syria to join the Islamic State.
The parole board’s decision was widely criticized by police and politicians alike. York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant said he was “devastated” and Police Chief Andy Robinson decried that “the juvenile system has failed us.” Mayor Eddie Lee agreed. “We are all outraged.”
Tom Elliott, the teen’s court-appointed lawyer, defended his client. “Just the word ISIS—I equate this to the Red Scare of the Cold War,” he said. “This young man has done all that has been required of him.” The teen was released from custody yesterday.