Police: Waukegan man who said he wants to join ISIS faces drug charges

WAUKEGAN (STMW) - A north suburban man who wore a bulletproof vest to the Lake County Courthouse last week is behind bars after allegedly claiming he planned to join ISIS.

Hakeem K. Shaifer of Waukegan is being held on a $20,000 bond after being charged with possession of ammunition without an FOID card, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of cannabis, all misdemeanors, according to a statement from the Lake County sheriff’s office.

“The Lake County sheriff’s office takes it very seriously when someone in Lake County claims any affiliation with a terrorist organization,” Sheriff Mark Curran said in the statement.

On Dec. 21, sheriff’s court security officers saw the 38-year-old Shaifer in a courtroom wearing a bulletproof vest, police said.  The sheriff’s Court Emergency Response Team then detained Shaifer, and found he was “present in the courthouse for a legitimate court case.”

He was asked to remove his bulletproof vest, and left the courthouse, but as he walked out, deputies heard him say “he possessed fully automatic weapons,” police said.

And a background check showed a prior arrest in Lake Forest during which “Shaifer claimed he was joining the terrorist organization, ISIS,” police said.

Later that day, an arrest warrant was issued by a Lake County judge for failure to comply with a previous order from the judge, police said.  He returned to the courthouse a short time later and was arrested on the warrant.

On Dec 22, 2015, CERT, sheriff’s detectives and Lake County Gang Task Force executed a search warrant at Shaifer’s home in the 100 block of Drew Lane in Waukegan, police said. They found several pieces of body armor, ammunition for pistols and rifles, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Shaifer remains in the Lake County Jail as of late Monday afternoon, and is next due in court Jan. 7.

The Sheriff’s Office has “been in communication with local Lake County police agencies and the FBI regarding Shaifer’s behavior and comments,” police said.

“We will continue to remain vigilant to suspicious activity in Lake County, especially in public venues,” Curran said.

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