CNN is reporting about the arrest of an individual who was planning an attack on the U.S. Capitol. The man who has been identified as 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell was arrested by F.B.I. officials in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a resident of Green Township, the report says. The National Journal, in a separate report, says that Cornell was planning an ISIS style attack on the U.S. Capitol with an aim to kill many government officials.
A statement released by the Justice Department following Christopher’s arrest reads as follows.
“Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, OH, was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.”
Christopher Lee Cornell was arrested after an F.B.I. informant, to whom Cornell sent several instant messages, decided to call in the authorities after it became clear that he was serious about his intentions. In the messages to the F.B.I. informant, Cornell reportedly told about waging jihad against the United States.
“I believe that we should wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything. We already got a thumbs up from the Brothers over there,” the 20-year-old is allegedly believed to have told the unnamed F.B.I. informant. Christopher is also alleged to have mentioned the name of Anwar al-Awlaki to the FBI informer. Al-Awlaki was an al-Qaida-affiliated U.S. citizen who was killed in by the military in a drone strike in 2011.
The F.B.I. informant also had several direct, face-to-face meeting with Cornell in which where he divulged several aspects of his planned attack. An excerpt from the complaint filed in the Justice Department reads as follows.
“He indicated that he considered the members of Congress as enemies and that he intended to conduct an attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.”
Meanwhile, it is also being reported that Christopher Lee Cornell first came on the F.B.I.’s radar after he started posting alarming social media posts where he openly talked positively about violent jihad. It was after this that F.B.I. officials planned an undercover operation to see if Christopher was serious about his plans to attack the U.S. Following the completion of the investigation, it became clear that Christopher Lee Cornell supported the ISIS and its ideologies. The undercover F.B.I. agent reportedly managed to gain Cornell’s trust, after which he revealed to him that his idea was to set off pipe bombs in the U.S. Capitol and shoot people dead as they fled from the site.
The F.B.I. has confirmed that the attack planned by Christopher was still in its early stages and that he was busted before anything untoward happened.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]