Wilkinsburg man detained, accused of promoting anti-American violence

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WILKINSBURG, Pa. - Police are detaining a man accused of promoting anti-American violence, although there is no direct link to any terrorist groups at this time.

On Thursday, federal agents raided Khalifah Ali Al-Akili's Wilkinsburg apartment and took him away in handcuffs.

While there is no direct link to any terrorist groups, the anti-American promotional videos on YouTube and other social media sites caused the Department of Homeland Security to be alerted, according to Channel 11's Alan Jennings.

Authorities arrived at the Dumplin Apartment Complex on Hay Street around 7 a.m. Thursday to execute a search warrant on a fourth-floor apartment, officials said.

During the raid, police arrested Ali Al-Akili, 34, on gun charges.

A neighbor who didn't want to show his face said Ali Al-Akili, formerly James Marvin Thomas Jr., was a nice person who lived with his wife and child.

"The FBI was walking through the building," the neighbor said. "They took a bunch of stuff of his. They confiscated his computer and things like that."

Jennings said investigators pulled Jihadist literature from Ali Al-Akili's apartment and computers. So far, no charges have been filed.

Former terrorism expert and retired FBI agent Larry Likar said if it's proven Ali Al-Akili carried through with terrorist plans, he'll face years in prison.

"Once they take active steps as far as supporting the actions or take any other steps toward the commission of an actual offense they can be prosecuted," Likar said.

According to the FBI, Ali Al-Aliki made it known to friends that he wanted to join the Taliban resistance in Afghanistan, and he was ready to die like a martyr.

Police said Ali-Aliki has a long criminal history of fighting with police in Jeannette and North Versailles. He also punched a woman in the face during a bar fight and spent time in prison on drug charges, police said.

Officials said there is no hard evidence that Ali Al-Akili took terrorist action against the United States, but their probe of him and his contacts continues.