WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A 27-year old man is under investigation for a more serious terrorism charge, a prosecutor said Tuesday afternoon during a bond hearing. As of now, Shivam Patel is only charged with lying to the military.
During a detention on Tuesday afternoon, a judge denied Patel bond, saying he's a threat to the community. The judge's ruling followed a prosecutor saying Patel "slid into extremist ideology."
Court documents say FBI agents interviewed Patel's parents last August and they told the agents that he had become "obsessed with Islam." Following the interview, agents searched their homes and Patel's room. During the search, a prosecutor said agents discovered Patel searched for "how to join ISIS."
Patel left Virginia last summer to go teach English in China, but told his father he was unhappy with the country's treatment of Muslims.
Patel was scheduled to return to Virginia last August, but then texted his parents saying he was going to Jordan. Shortly after, officials in Jordan told the FBI they were going to deport Patel. On the day he boarded a flight back to the US, court documents say Patel told an undercover FBI employee he wanted to commit jihad. While he suggested the jihad may not be violent, he praised other terrorist attacks, according to the criminal affidavit.
One of the attacks he expressed support for was the Fort Hood attack in Texas in 2009, when an army soldier shot and killed several of his fellow soldiers, according to prosecutors.
Last September, he moved back into his parents house in Williamsburg and began applying for jobs with police departments, correctional facilities, probation offices, fire departments, and the military, which is why a prosecutor said it is concerning Patel expressed support for the Ft. Hood attack.
During an interview with an Army recruiter, Patel lied about where he traveled, according to the court documents. He told the recruiter he had only visited family in India, but didn't mention other trips, they say. The court documents say he also made the same false statement on a form for the Air Force.
Patel's attorney said he has ties to the community and his family would watch him if he was released from jail on bond, but a judge denied the request.