These three cases show that terrorist attacks continue to be a credible threat to the United States.
Two court cases and a terror plot tip-off highlight that terrorism is still a threat to the United States.
ONE: An Ohio man found guilty of a terrorist plot to attack the US Capitol building screamed “Allah is in control, not this judge!” as he was led from the courtroom after being sentenced. Christopher Lee Cornell, of Cincinnati was sentenced to 30 years in prison and lifetime probation following his release. He pleaded guilty to charges brought against him for his intentions to attack the Capitol during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.
The would-be jihadist was arrested in January 2015. The authorities found two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition in preparation for the assault.
TWO: A Detroit man who amassed a weapons arsenal and discussed violent plans with an undercover FBI agent has now been charged with receipt of explosive materials with intent to harm. Previously, he had been charged with possession of illegal weaponry. He was also a vocal Islamic State supporter.
Sebastian Gregerson, aka Abdurraahman Bin Mikaayl, 29, was the subject of a 16-month investigation which began in April 2015. In May, he discussed (with undercover informants) committing violent attacks against a group of local Muslim leaders, describing the possible attack as “like shooting fish in a barrel.”
According to the federal indictment unsealed in court, he received “26 ounces of Composition B,” an explosive compound “with knowledge and intent that said explosive materials would be used to kill, injure, and intimidate a person.”
THREE: A tip-off alerted Los Angeles law enforcement to a terrorist threat to attack the Los Angeles subway on Tuesday.
The attack, received through a tip line run by an unidentified foreign government, was to have targeted the Metro Red Line’s Universal City Station. The threat has pushed the city to increase security across its transport network.
The tip was passed on to the FBI’s counterterrorism task force and is being treated as specific and imminent.
“This could be real, it could be a hoax,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell. “We’re asking the public to stay calm and vigilant.”
“My advice is right now, everyone should go about their normal day tomorrow,” Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti said. “People may see a heightened security presence … but don’t let those frighten you.”