US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Byung J. Pak, announced the arrest of a man plotting to blow a hole through the White House for access and subsequently corner people inside with semi-automatic rifles. The backpack he was supposed to wear would have contained a bomb for him to become a “martyr”.
Hasher Taheb, 21, is from Cumming, Georgia. He plotted to attack the White House, the Statue of Liberty, and other locations in Washington, D.C. Taheb was investigated by the Atlanta Joint Terrorism Task Force and the FBI for a year after a community member gave local authorities the hint Taheb was becoming a dangerous radical. The tip, given in March 2018, said Taheb had, “become radicalized, changed his name, and made plans to travel abroad.”
In July, Taheb applied for a US passport and put his car on sale. Taheb told an FBI informant who showed interest in buying the car that he was selling the car to pay for his trip abroad to ISIS-controlled territories. He teamed up with this FBI informant and relayed to him his passion for jihad along with the targets he had in mind.
On December 2, Taheb met with the informant and an undercover FBI agent. He communicated his desire to be a “martyr” and inflict as much damage as possible in the US. Taheb drew a diagram of the West Wing in the White House and requested assistance in obtaining weapons and explosive devices from the undercover agent on December 7. On December 15, Taheb uploaded a 40-page manifesto about jihad to Google Docs and started a group chat with the informant and undercover agent for discussing imminent attacks planned.
On Saturday, Taheb met the FBI informant and informed him he was going to initiate attacks on Thursday. On Wednesday, Taheb and the two FBI associates conferred in a store parking lot located in Buford, Georgia to exchange their automobiles for rifles and explosives. A second FBI informant joined them and instructed Taheb on how to use the weapons. Taheb was arrested at the scene after he gave away his car keys and took the explosives he was promised, transferring them to a rental vehicle. Chris Hacker, head of Atlanta’s FBI branch, said authorities think Taheb was acting alone aside from the FBI associates Taheb expected to carry out his plans with.
Taheb appeared in an Atlanta court, charged with attempts to damage federal properties using improvised explosives. Pak said prosecutors will bring the case before a grand jury. Taheb will next appear in court on January 24 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Featured image via Flickr/The White House