‘We’re scared to leave the house’: Dad calls 911 on son accused of helping ISIS

Posted at 7:03 AM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-24 07:10:28-04

NORTH CAROLINA — A North Carolina teen made his first appearance in federal court this week accused of trying to support terrorists and on Tuesday investigators released a 911 call made by his terrified father months before the man’s arrest.

The father of Justin Sullivan, 19, called police in April fearful that his son was a menace to the family. Sullivan’s father describes the teen’s threatening behavior and mentions ISIS months before his son was arrested and accused of trying to help the terror group.

Dad: I’m gonna call them anyway, you’re gonna …

Justin: Tell them I’m not here!

911 operator: What is your emergency?

Dad: He’s got into his mind that he can destroy all our religious… something I don’t know if it’s ISIS or what but I come home and he’s destroying Buddhas and figurines and burning stuff in the house.

911: This is your son?

Dad: Yes.

911: OK. What’s your name?

Dad: He’s almost 19.

Justin: (yelling in background)

Dad: We’re scared to leave the house, there’s a burning smell in the house. We walked in here and he’s got all the windows open and he’s trying to burn stuff. Cutting up religious stuff.

Justin: It’s not just religious stuff… (inaudible)

911: Is that him I hear in background?

Dad: Yes, yes.

911: You’re at that location now, correct?

Dad: Yes.

911: Are there any weapons involved or mentioned?

Dad: No.

911: OK. Does he have access to any weapons?

Dad: Well he’s got some stuff all throughout the house.

911: Like knives and stuff … kitchen knives?

Dad: Yes, right.

911: But no guns or anything like that?

Dad: No.

911: Does he have a pocket knife?

Dad: No, he doesn’t.

911: Is he physical or verbal or both?

Dad: Both.

Sullivan was arrested June 18 at his home in Morganton, N.C. He faces several charges, including one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group and charges related to receiving a silencer.

Investigators said he planned assassinations in the U.S. in support of ISIS. If convicted, Sullivan faces up to 40 years in prison.