Man arrested for allegedly planning to attack White House, other federal buildings

Man arrested for allegedly planning to attack White House, other federal buildings

Authorities in the U.S. state of Georgia have arrested a 21-year-old man who sought to buy explosives and an anti-tank rocket for a "jihad" suicide attack planned for Thursday on the White House and other targets in Washington D.C. including a synagogue.

Authorities said Hasher Jallal Taheb, a 21-year-old man from Cumming, was acting alone.

"All potential threats have been neutralized and were under control from the inception of this case", U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak said Wednesday.

But Taheb didn't have a USA passport and began to make plans for jihad in the United States with possible targets of the White House and the Statue of Liberty, the complaint says. By Dec. 14, Taheb had expanded his targets to include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and an unspecified synagogue.

The attack was supposed to come Thursday and, the complaint states, Mr. Taheb was arrested immediately after picking up the planned weapons - "three semi-automatic assault rifles, three explosive devices with remote initiation and one AT-4", an anti-tank rocket launcher.

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The FBI was alerted to the man's plans after local police received a tip in March 2018 that the suspect had become "radicalized", according to an affidavit seen by the Associated Press and Reuters.

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. He was detained on Wednesday when he met an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent to supposedly obtain the explosives and weapons.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Chris Hacker said investigators believe Taheb was working alone and did not have ties to any terrorist group.

Taheb allegedly told an informant "jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam", adding "it was not complicated at all to do jihad today", according to the complaint. Unbeknownst to Taheb, all of the weapons had been rendered non-functional.

Undercover agents were in contact with Taheb throughout his planning discussions and arrested him Wednesday after he tried to buy two backpacks of devices from them, according to the complaint.

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