A Georgia man was stopped by FBI agents after allegedly plotting to carry out a “jihad” terror attack on the White House and other targets in Washington.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Wednesday that Atlanta resident Hasher Jallel Taheb was in federal custody, suspected of “plotting to destroy a government building, said a community member contacted law enforcement in March 2018 to say that Taheb had become radicalized.”
On Aug. 25, 2018, Taheb allegedly put his vehicle up for sale. An FBI informant reached out to show interest and met with the suspect days later.
Taheb allegedly said he planned to travel to ‘hijra,’ a term said to refer to Islamic State territory and he was selling the car to fund the trip. But he didn’t have a passport.
He allegedly told the informant he wanted to attack the White House and Statue of Liberty in jihadist attacks.
Taheb was found to be carrying a “hand-drawn diagram of ground floor of the West Wing,” according to court docs obtained by NBC Washington reporter Scott MacFarlane.
NEW: Feds arrest Georgia man suspected of plotting attack Washington Monument, White House and Lincoln Memorial with weapons and explosives. Per court documents – man had "hand-drawn diagram of ground floor of the West Wing"
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) January 16, 2019
The suspect allegedly planned on using IEDs and an anti-tank rocket to inflict “mass casualties,” reports WSBTV.com.
“His alleged intent was to attack the White House and other targets of opportunity in the Washington, D.C. area,” the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Pak told reporters.
A criminal complaint against Taheb claims he also considered other historical landmarks, including “the Washington Monument,” “the Statue of Liberty” and “the Lincoln Memorial,” as well as “a specific synagogue.”
ABC News provides a timeline, based off the criminal complaint, of how an undercover agent and FBI informant were able to nab Taheb:
…Taheb allegedly told the informant that “jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam,” adding that “it was not complicated at all to do jihad today,” according to the complaint.
In a meeting with the informant and an undercover FBI agent on Dec. 2, Taheb allegedly stated that “they could do more damage” in the U.S. because abroad they would be “one of many.” He also allegedly said that he wanted to be a “martyr” and cause as much damage as possible, the complaint states.
“He said the group would fight to the end and make it a big bang,” according to the document.
…He also discussed the need for a “base” where they could regroup and “give a speech to motivate people” and show clips of “oppressed Muslims,” the document states.
Federal prosecutors will next present the case to a grand jury.