It is being reported that a 21-year-old man has been arrested in Georgia as he made preparations to blow up the White House.
USA Today reported Hasher Jallal Taheb, who is from Cummings, was arrested after he attempted to buy weapons from undercover federal agents.
According to the report, Taheb “traded his car for semi-automatic assault rifles, remote-controlled explosives and grenades, and an anti-tank rocket, according to an FBI affidavit.”
The man “planned to blow out a door of the West Wing to gain entry, using as many weapons as possible to inflict carnage,” USA Today reports citing court documents.
“He also told at least one agent that he wanted to fire a rocket at the Statue of Liberty, the FBI said,” the report added.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, the arrest came amid a yearlong investigation by a joint terrorism task force which went undercover as potential terrorists and munitions sellers.
From the report:
Hasher Taheb, who was also allegedly planning to target other federal buildings, was subject to a nearly 12-month probe after a March 2018 tip from a member of the public who told authorities the young man had been radicalized, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung J. Pak told reporters Wednesday at a press conference.
Another potential target was the Statue of Liberty, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper reported that an FBI informant made contact with Taheb after he posted an ad to sell his vehicle last August. Taheb reportedly told the informant he needed the money to fund a trip to Islamic State territory, though he didn’t have a passport.
Chris Hacker, FBI special agent in charge of the Atlanta field office, said the bureau believed Taheb was acting alone, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
The Washington Examiner reports Taheb was criminally charged with attempting to damage a federal building with an explosive.
Here’s even more from USA Today:
He met with the undercover agent and the FBI source multiple times last month and was also in frequent contact using an encrypted messaging application, the affidavit says.
During one meeting with the agent and the source, Taheb “advised that if they were to go to another country, they would be one of many, but if they stayed in the United States, they could do more damage,” the affidavit says. Taheb “explained that jihad was an obligation, that he wanted to do as much damage as possible, and that he expected to be a ‘martyr,’ meaning he expected to die during the attack.”
At another meeting, Taheb showed the undercover agent a hand-drawn diagram of the ground floor of the West Wing and detailed a plan for attack, the affidavit says. He asked the undercover agent to obtain the weapons and explosives needed to carry out the attack, and they discussed selling or exchanging their cars to pay for them.
Taheb told the undercover agent they needed a “base” where they could regroup and where he could record a video to motivate people: “He stated he would be the narrator, clips of oppressed Muslims would be shown, and American and Israeli flags would be burned in the background.”
Taheb said they would approach the White House from the back road, causing a distraction for police and proceed to use an anti-tank weapon to blow open a door and then take down as many people and do as much damage as possible, the affidavit says.