An army vet who converted to Islam was arrested for reportedly plotting terror attacks in Los Angeles, federal law enforcement officials announced.
According to CBS Los Angeles, the suspect was arrested in California “after he received what he thought was a bomb, but was actually an inert device supplied to him by an undercover law enforcement officer, federal officials said.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported that the suspect considered “various attacks — including targeting Jews, churches, and police officers” before deciding to “detonate an IED at a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach this past weekend.
“As part of the plot, (the suspect) asked his confederate — who actually was cooperating with the FBI as part of the investigation — to find a bomb-maker, and [the suspect] last week purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel inside the IED.”
The suspect also shared an online video professing his Muslim faith and the following day, he wrote a post that read: “America needs another vegas event,” referring to the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2017.
Investigators believe the former vet was “a recent convert to Islam who… was seeking revenge for the March massacres at two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people,” The Washington Post noted.
Assistant Director Michael McGarrity of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division said: “The individual charged in this case wanted to carry out a mass casualty attack with explosive devices, and he moved very quickly from talking about violence to mobilizing to commit such an attack.
“This case should remind the public of the need to be vigilant and notify law enforcement if you see suspicious behavior.”
The Department of Justice also said the suspect showed “his desire to commit a terrorist act, at points contemplating a drive-by shooting with a modified AK-47-style rifle he owned, and at other points considering the use of an IED.” The suspect also expressed support for ISIS by saying he would swear allegiance to them.
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