FBI Makes Arrest in Homegrown Terrorist Plot
The FBI has exposed a plot to blow up the U.S. Capitol. They arrested an Al Qaeda and ISIS homegrown radical as part of an FBI sting operation.
This Cincinnati, Ohio man apparently used Twitter to post statements and videos in support of violent jihad, but the FBI says he crossed the line when he started plotting his own attack on federal buildings in Washington, DC.
This past fall a confidential informant began working with the FBI providing the agency with information on a Christopher Cornell who the informant claims wanted to wage jihad on the nation’s capital and its lawmakers.
Earlier today, Cornell seemed to be finalizing his plot to travel to Washington for the attack when he purchased two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition from a store in Ohio, authorities said.
The FBI then arrested Cornell, charging him with attempting to kill a U.S. government officer and with possession of a firearm. The criminal complaint detailed how Cornell allegedly used the alias “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah” on a Twitter account that is no longer working, where he posted statements and videos in sympathy with the Islamic State of Iraq.
Although no direct contact with foreign terror cells has been alleged, in his message, Cornell said that such attacks “already got a thumbs up” from radical cleric Anwar Awlaki “before his martyrdom.”
WASHINGTON—An Ohio man was arrested Wednesday as he neared what authorities say were the final stages of a terror plot to attack the U.S. Capitol with guns and pipe bombs in support of the Islamic State militant group.
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, was arrested shortly after he allegedly bought two Armalite M-15 model semiautomatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition on Wednesday, according to an affidavit filed by a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent.
The FBI said agents arrested him in Ohio as he allegedly was taking the final steps toward traveling to the nation’s capital to carry out the plan. Unbeknownst to the suspect, his would-be partner in the attack was actually a government informant, providing information to the FBI about the plot in the hopes of receiving leniency in an unrelated criminal case, according to court papers.
Mr. Cornell “specifically planned that he and [the informant] would build, plant and detonate pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol, then use firearms to shoot and kill employees and officials in the U.S. Capitol,’’ according to the affidavit.
Mr. Cornell, who was charged with attempted killing of a U.S. employee and weapons possession in furtherance of a crime, allegedly told the informant he wanted to detonate bombs and attack the U.S. Capitol in support of Islamic State, the militant group that has taken control of parts of Iraq and Syria.
“I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves,’’ he allegedly wrote in messages to the informant.
Authorities allege Mr. Cornell saved money to pay for the attack and researched online how to build pipe bombs.