Fort Worth teen was recruiter for foreign terrorist organization, authorities say

File photo
File photo

A Fort Worth teenager was charged Friday with conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization.

Michael Kyle Sewell, 18, worked to recruit people via social media into a Pakistani terrorist group, according to a news release from John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, and Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

Sewell recruited a person to join Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based foreign terrorist organization.

He gave the person contact information so they could travel to Pakistan to join the group and coached him on what to say to ensure LeT he was sincere.

However, the person Sewell was attempting to recruit was an undercover FBI agent, authorities said.

Sewell put the FBI agent in contact with a facilitator for LeT. He told the agent and the facilitator he would kill the agent if he turned out to be a spy, according to the news release.

“We stay on constant alert for radicals plotting attacks targeting citizens of the United States, here or abroad,” Cox said in the news release.

The FBI and its Joint Terrorism Task Force members, including the Arlington Police Department, the Fort Worth Police Department, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office, the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Texas Department of Public Safety, investigated the case.

“The men and women of FBI Dallas along with our local, state, and federal partners will continue to work diligently against homegrown violent extremists who provide support to any foreign terrorist organization,” Eric K. Jackson, special agent-in-charge of the FBI Dallas Division, said in the release.

Kaley Johnson is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. She majored in investigative reporting at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has a passion for bringing readers in-depth, complex stories that will impact their lives. Send your tips via email or Twitter.