Report: Florida men linked to ISIS terror cell in Syria

Staff researcher Melanie Mena contributed to this report.

An ex-felon and a former Palm Beach Lakes High School student appeared to be the link to Syria for a home-grown terrorist cell in Palm Beach County, according to a federal affidavit.

Dayne Antani Christian, who ran track as a student, and was living in Lake Park, took the code name “Shakur” and was in touch with a Syrian national who was a member of ISIS inside the Middle East country who was a member of ISIS, court records show.

Christian, 31, and two other men were arrested on Thursday and charged with providing material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization. The FBI sting, using an undercover informant, seemed to focus on West Palm Beach resident Gregory Hubbard, a 52-year-old artist who didn’t keep it a secret that he wanted to participate in a jihad against the United States.

“Sometimes you just have to cut the heads off,” Hubbard told the informant, according to the FBI affidavit.

The other individual arrested was Darren Arness Jackson, 50, of West Palm Beach, and who intended to travel oversees with Hubbard to train with ISIS.

Authorities moved in on the cell when Hubbard tried to board a plane in Miami heading to Germany on Thursday. He allegedly planned to work his way to Syria and join ISIS.

A good portion of the affidavit focuses on Christian’s fascination with compiling weapons, even though, as convicted felon, he is prohibited from owning firearms. Christian served a year in prison after pleading guilty in 2010 to making false statements to buy 15 firearms for a former Air Force officer.

Christian praised ISIS leader Anwar al-Walki and discussed with the informant how he obtained AR-15 assault rifle and new Kalashnikov 47 assault rifle.

“Christian also talked about he would pay top dollar for an Uzi, a type of sub-machine gun,” according to court records.

Records show that Christian ran track and was a member of the 400-meter relay team, but then became dedicated to terror.

“Christian had been radicalizing a known individual by having him watch lectures and sermons by (Al Qaeda leader) Anwar al-Awalki, and like-mined clerics,” the affidavit reads.