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Florida: Teen converts to Islam, murders 13-year-old boy for ‘disrespecting his Muslim faith’



The murder of Jovanni Sierra Brand should have been the occasion for a national discussion about the phenomenon of converts to Islam becoming violent, which keeps happening, and what should be done about it. Instead, the whole thing was swept under the rug, as always.

Note the ever-witless Daily Mail’s headline: “White ISIS enthusiast…” The Mail always tries to make jihad a racial issue. It is not in this case, nor in many others where the media coverage plays up a race angle.

“White ISIS enthusiast and Muslim convert, 21, is sentenced to life in prison for murdering boy, 13, and knifing two others at a birthday sleepover in 2018 after the victims ‘disrespected his faith,’” by Andrea Blanko,, January 13, 2022 (thanks to Henry):

A white ISIS enthusiast and Muslim convert who killed a 13-year-old boy during his birthday sleepover party and injured two other people in Florida in 2018 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Corey Johnson, 21, was found guilty of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in November 2020.

Johnson was 17 years old when he killed Jovanni Sierra Brand and knifed Elaine Simon, 43, and her 13-year-old son, Dane Bancroft, at Jovanni’s birthday sleepover, claiming that the victims had ‘idolized celebrities and disrespected his Muslim faith.’

Johnson, who considered Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Kim Jong Un as his role models, was known for making disparaging remarks about Jews and homosexuals, expressing support for the KKK and was described by others as a white supremacist.

His defense tried to argue the violent attack had been sparked by Johnson’s traumatic childhood and mental health issues, local news station WPBF reported.

Palm Beach County Judge Cheryl Caracuzzo sentenced Johnson to life in prison and said on Thursday she did not believe rehabilitation was likely for Johnson after he remained emotionless during the heartfelt testimony of Jovanni’s mother.

The gruesome attack happened in March 2018, at the BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, where Simon and Dane, one of Jovanni’s friends, lived.

Johnson was at the sleepover because he was a friend of Dane’s older brother, Kyle Bancroft. Before the tragedy, the boys had been to dinner to celebrate Jovanni’s thirteenth birthday and had decided to spend the night at Simon’s.

Johnson told police he read the Quran on his phone to give him ‘courage’ to carry out the bloody stabbing spree during the sleepover.

During his statement in court Thursday, Johnson said he wanted to apologize to the victims for his radical and violent attack, adding that he couldn’t begin to imagine the pain he had caused.

‘I wish I could take it back, I wish I could do something to make this right,’ Johnson said. ‘I’d like to apologize not because it will change anything, but because I’m really truly sorry.’

His defense had attempted to argue insanity, citing that both his parents had also dealt with depression and that, as a child, he had witnessed the verbal and physical abuse his father perpetrated on his mother….

Johnson also said he regretted following the Islamic extremist group ISIS, and that he hoped to help people to compensate for the crimes he had committed.

At the time of his arrest for the killing of Jovanni in 2018, Johnson already had federal charges pending against him for threatening a Catholic school in England.

In January 2017, local law enforcement agencies and FBI agents met with staff at William T Dwyer High School, where Johnson was a student at the time to discuss information suggesting that the teen had reached out to ISIS online saying that he wished to join the murderous terrorist group.

A sheriff’s detective interviewed the 17-year-old to assess his mental state and concluded that Johnson was a terrorist sympathizer, according to the report.

The FBI later informed the Jupiter Police Department that an unspecified European counter-intelligence agency was investigating Johnson in connection to threats that were made in Instagram threats that were made in October 2016 against McAuley Catholic High School in Doncaster, England.

Authorities said the threats were so serious that up to 100 students withdrew from the school for fear of an attack.

One of the threatening posts read: ‘We have our sights set on you, and by Allah we will kill every infidel student at this school inshallah) #McAuleySchoolMassacre.’ The threatening message came from an account named 81daesh48. Daesh is an alternative name for ISIS….

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