JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Shackled and in plain clothes, 19 year-old Shelton Bell appeared before a judge in U.S. District Court.
The former Englewood High attendee was recently arrested. An indictment said Bell participated in a nighttime mission at the Chapel Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Dressed in dark clothing, he recorded this mission to recruit others to travel to the Middle East and fight.
"We were very fortunate in catching him before anything serious," Ron Wirth said.
In an indictment, Bell is accused by the U.S. government of leasing a computer when he traveled to Jordan last fall and downloaded Al-Qa'da training materials. Bell is also accused of researching Yemen, which is where prosecutors allege Bell wanted to participate as a fighter with Ansar Al-Sharia, a new alias for Al-Qa'ida.
" ... Could either be planned or be done by him," Wirth said.
Though not related, a former FBI agent of 30 years was concerned when two school buses were stolen from the Flagler County School District's garage recently.
"That always keys law enforcement interests. What is the vehicle going to be used for?" he asked. "You're not going to start your own school bus delivery system with stolen school buses."
This is not the first instance of stolen school buses.
In Chicago, thieves allegedly stole eight school buses and turned them into scrap metal in March.
In Ohio, in what police call some sort of juvenile prank, several school buses were stolen from a bus depot on July 4th and some damaged.
In March, a driver of a stolen school bus took police on a wild ride in New Mexico.
School bus thefts and a possible terrorism tie has been on the FBI's radar for years, according to Wirth.
"Just be alert," Wirth said. "Be alert to things going on around you. Many times, we end up with tunnel vision. You need to observe what's going on around you. See things that don't quite match up."
The FCSO told FCN it will not speculate on if the buses were taken for any possible terrorist activity.
First Coast News