MADISON COUNTY — An 18-year-old Godfrey, Illinois man is in the Madison County Jail on charges he planned a mass casualty terrorist attack at multiple locations in Madison County.
Authorities said Thursday that Keaun Cook had been communicating through email and social media with a terrorist group to plan the attack, but they would not give the location of the planned attack, or name the terrorist group. They did say federal authorities have been brought in on the investigation that is ongoing.
Law enforcement was first made aware of the threat on August 24 and Cook was arrested Wednesday. He is charged with Class X material support for terrorism and making a terrorist threat. His bail has been set at $150,000.
Madison County State’s Attorney Thomas Gibbons said during a Thursday press conference with Madison County Sheriff John Lakin, that had Cook not been caught, the results would have been devastating.
They called the threat genuine and was not a case of a bomb threat called in by a teenager. According to Gibbons, there was no credible evidence of other operatives in the area and they believe Cook’s arrest prevented a “potentially chaotic, and deadly event in the area.”
They credit the individual who reported the plot and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for acting quickly.