Sterling man charged in ISIS terrorism investigation to remain in custody

- A Northern Virginia man arrested as part of an ISIS terrorism investigation conducted by the FBI returned to federal court.

A detention hearing was held for Sean Duncan in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Monday afternoon. He has been held in jail without bond since his arrest during an FBI raid at his Sterling home on Dec. 29.

According to court documents, the 21-year-old Sterling man is accused of trying to join ISIS. The criminal complaint says, "The FBI's review of Duncan's imaged phone revealed numerous internet searches of ISIS-related material, ISIS attacks, weapons, body armor, surveillance and defense tactics.”

The documents also indicated through informant interviews that Duncan had made statements saying he would like to join ISIS at some point.

When FBI agents showed up with a search warrant at Duncan's home on Dec. 29, the FBI affidavit said he ran out a back door of his home and tossed a bag with a crushed thumb drive over FBI agents' heads.

The judge said given the allegation that Duncan tried to flee from authorities, the 21-year-old suspect was a flight risk and will remain in custody.

Duncan's attorney said they had no comment on Monday.

Monday’s detention hearing followed up a very brief hearing held last week where Duncan asked for a court-appointed attorney because he was not sure he could afford one himself.

Duncan has been charged with obstruction of justice, but the U.S. Attorney's Office said last week that additional charges related to the FBI’s ISIS investigation were expected to be filed.

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