Man Arrested for Planning ‘ISIS-Inspired’ Attack on Capitol Hill

January 14, 2015  

The FBI has arrested an Ohio man for allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off a series of bombs aimed at lawmakers whom he allegedly considered enemies, ABC News reports.

Christopher Lee Cornell, of Cincinnati, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official, authorities said.

According to government documents, he allegedly planned to detonate pipe bombs at the national landmark and open fire on any employees and officials fleeing after the explosions.

The FBI first noticed Cornell several months ago after an informant notified the agency that Cornell was allegedly voicing support for violent “jihad” on Twitter accounts under the alias “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah,” according to charging documents.

In addition, Cornell allegedly posted statements, videos and other content expressing support for ISIS, according to ABC News.

“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” Cornell allegedly wrote in an online message to the informant in August, according to the FBI.

“I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves.”

In the message, Cornell said that such attacks “already got a thumbs up” from radical cleric Anwar Awlaki “before his martyrdom.”

Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011, but his online messages calling for attacks on the West live on.

Cornell and the informant met in Cincinnati over two days in October, and then another two days in November, reported ABC News.

During the last meeting, Cornell told an FBI informant that members of Congress were enemies and that he wanted to launch an attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., according to charging documents.

Cornell then allegedly saved money to finance the attack and researched how to build bombs, the FBI said.

Earlier Wednesday, while also taking “final steps” to travel to Washington for the attack, Cornell allegedly bought two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition from a store in Ohio, authorities said.

It has already been confirmed that one American citizen carried out a suicide bombing within Syria; Last February it was estimated that at least 50 U.S. citizens are fighting in Syria against President Bashar Al-Assad, and are liable to bring terrorism back to their country once the war is over.

In August, a woman from Arvada, Colorado who was charged with aiding a foreign terrorist organization agreed to change her plea to guilty.

The woman, Shannon Conley, was charged with conspiracy to provide support to ISIS. Court documents claim Conley joined the Army Explorers to be trained in U.S. military tactics and firearms, and that she told the FBI she wanted to wage Jihad and to go overseas and fight.

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