Monday, 2 July 2018

FBI arrested a man in Fourth of July terror plot in Cleveland

The FBI has arrested a Cleveland man on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on the Fourth of July independence holiday, bureau officials say.

Demetrius Pitts, who was arrested on Sunday, has been monitored by the FBI since 2017 for "disturbing" Facebook posts supporting al-Qaeda militants.

Mr Pitts, a US citizen, had allegedly been looking for locations in Cleveland at which to plant explosives last week.

He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, the US attorney's office says.

FBI special agent Steve Anthony, the head of the agency's Cleveland office, said during a news conference on Monday that Mr Pitts had continually made "statements of violent intentions" and "expressed willingness to conduct a US based attack" for al-Qaeda.
Mr Pitts - also known as Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq - discussed his hatred for the military, "wanting to chop off heads and hands", and a desire to commit a future attack in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to the FBI.

Photo of suspect

"This case illustrates that law enforcement cannot sit back and wait," Mr Anthony said. "We don't have the luxury of hoping an individual decides not to harm someone."

Mr Pitts had moved to Cleveland in May, allegedly to better plan a terror attack in the city, the FBI said on Monday. Cleveland is the second largest in the Midwestern state of Ohio,
An undercover agent had been speaking with Mr Pitts about his intentions.

Last week, the FBI alleges that Mr Pitts suggested to the agent that he wanted to blow up a Fourth of July parade.

On social media, Mr Pitts had been showing a "desire to commit violence against the United States", making comments including, "we need to know how to shoot guns", Mr Anthony said.

BBC        News.

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