FL teen who stabbed three gravitated to ISIS, white supremacy, Stalin

FL teen who stabbed three gravitated to ISIS, white supremacy, Stalin
Posted at 11:02 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 19:16:27-04

(RNN) – A 17-year-old who stabbed three people, killing one, and attributed it to his “Muslim faith” also had been associated with neo-Nazi, white supremacist beliefs and had a fascination with brutal dictators such as Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Corey Johnson confessed to the stabbings in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, which occurred Monday morning. He killed one boy, Jovanni Sierra, on his 13th birthday.

He wounded another 13-year-old boy, Dane Bancroft, and his mother Elaine Simon.

Johnson was a friend of Simon’s elder son, Kyle. The 15-year-old told police he and Johnson often watched jihadist videos online.

Johnson told police he targeted Sierra for “idolizing famous people and referencing them as gods, which went against his Muslim faith” according to an affidavit reported on by local media.

Johnson’s long history with espousing violent beliefs has since come to light. He was first visited by a Palm Beach County sheriff's detective in December 2016. 

Before latching onto extremist Islamic beliefs, he was making neo-Nazi connections online, according to a sheriff's report from that time. Johnson spoke with the detective and a resulting report said he appeared to support white supremacist beliefs, The Palm Beach Post reported.

He was then investigated by police and the FBI in January 2017 for making threats on Instagram.

Investigators discovered at that time he had watched ISIS videos, and Johnson said he supported the terrorist group and wanted to join them.

Later that year, in March, he said he supported Anwar Al Awlaki, an American Al Qaeda-affiliated preacher who was popular among western jihadists on YouTube. He was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

According to WPTV, his mother and grandparents said he was fascinated with dictators such as Hitler, Stalin and Kim Jong Un.

The Post report also noted that when Johnson was in middle school, he made anti-gay and anti-Semitic statements and had beliefs aligned with the KKK. Police back then were warned about his "violent tendencies" and told he had "spoken about inappropriate places to bomb."

WPTV reported the FBI questioned one of his friends just weeks ago as part of its investigation.

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