CALDWELL, Idaho — A 22-year-old Nampa man charged in a terrorism case pleaded not guilty Friday morning, and is set for trial later this year.
Grant Stevenson faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, felony terrorism and threatening to use weapons of mass destruction.
Prosecutors have accused Stevenson of sowing fear by using a fake Facebook profile to threaten a bombing and a sarin gas attack at a Nampa apartment complex in March. The threat was sent via Facebook message to the Nampa Police Department's page.
In the message, investigators say, Stevenson appeared to link himself to the Islamic State, writing "death to America" and warning that a bomb in the apartment complex "will go off in one hour killing many with toxic sarin gas imported from Syria and there is nothing u Americans can do to stop it."
According to investigators, Stevenson was angry with a woman who lived at the apartments mentioned in the threat. The same fake Facebook account sent messages to that woman and her boyfriend, threatening to kill the man and sexually assault the woman.
Police locked down area schools and asked residents to shelter in place, calling in the FBI, ATF, and National Guard along with paramedics, firefighters and a HazMat team. A lengthy search of the area did not turn up any explosives or chemical weapons.
Authorities have said the bomb threat was a hoax, and Stevenson does not appear to have any actual link to terror groups like ISIS. The suspect does have a history of making false bombing threats, however, spending time in juvenile detention after being convicted of making threats against schools in Boise, Kuna, Caldwell and Twin Falls in 2013.
Stevenson has been held in the Canyon County Jail on a $2 million bond since his arrest. A jury trial in the case is set for Aug. 7.