Cary terror suspect tried to cover tracks, affidavit shows

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Garrett Grimsley started encrypting his computer before a federal raid.

A Cary man the FBI is investigating as a suspected homegrown terrorist tried covering his tracks moments before authorities raided his apartment, according to a sworn affidavit.

Garrett Grimsley, 27, of the 3100 block of Lakeside View Court, has been charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce to injure the person of another.

According to an FBI agent's affidavit, Grimsley, under the username "Spark_Pure" posted publicly Sunday on the messaging app Whisper, saying "Salam, some of you are alright, don't go to Cary tomorrow." In the background of the post was a picture of a bearded, middle-aged man wearing camouflage pants and holding a red flag with a black star in the middle.

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Then, in a private message with a cooperating witness for the authorities, Grimsley said non-Muslims for too long "spit in our faces and trampled our rights. This cannot continue." The message went on to read, "Say your dua (prayers), sleep, and watch the news tomorrow. It will only be the beginning."


Grimsley's LinkedIn profile shows someone who is tech savvy. According to the profile, he majored in computer science at UNC Wilmington before starting a job as a junior developer with SciQuest, which is now Jaggaer, in June 2016.

The company declined to comment.

Authorities said that during their raid on Grimsley's apartment at the Weston Lakeside Apartment complex, he refused to answer questions as agents found he had started encrypting his computer's hard drive, which was 63 percent complete when agents intervened.

A search of his apartment by the FBI, SBI, and Cary police revealed an AK-47 rifle, four 30-round magazines, and approximately 340 rounds of 7.62 millimeter ammunition.

Some neighbors told ABC11 they didn't find out what happened until Tuesday morning when the apartment complex's management posted a notice on their door, explaining Grimsley's arrest.

"I was like, oh my God what's going on here?" said Cecilia Mena-Ariz. "You're in Cary and you think you are in one of the best place in the world. This is safe I think. I don't think you're safe anywhere."

Grimsley is in federal custody and due in federal court Friday.

If convicted, he faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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