Christopher Lee Cornell’s dad claims the FBI set up his son in the alleged plot to bomb the U.S. Capitol and kill lawmakers. John Cornell Sr. says his son is a mama’s boy, not a terrorist.
The FBI arrested Cornell, age 20, Wednesday on charges that he was planning to kill a U.S. Government official. According to authorities, Cornell planned to set off pipe bombs around the U.S. Capitol to cause members of Congress to panic and flee the building. As lawmakers ran from the building, it is alleged Cornell planned to gun them down.
Although authorities maintain the alleged plot is similar to an ISIS terrorist attack, Christopher Lee Cornell’s father insists his son is not a terrorist in an interview with ABC News.
“I know my son probably better than anyone. He’s a mommy’s boy. His best friend is his cat Mikey. He still calls his mother ‘Mommy.’ Just a typical kid.”
Cornell Sr. adds that his son could never plot this type of attack. He maintains the FBI set up his son by putting the ideas in Christopher Cornell’s head.
“He told me he had went to a mosque and now I know, in hindsight I know, he was meeting with an FBI agent. And they were taking him somewhere, and they were filling his head with a lot of this garbage.”
The FBI first became interested in Cornell several months ago, when an informant alerted the agency to Cornell’s social media posts that talked about violent jihad. According to authorities, Cornell tweeted under the name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah. Cornell started making plans to carry out his alleged attack with someone he thought was his partner, but was actually an FBI informant. The informant told authorities Cornell contacted him to help carry out this attack as a way of supporting ISIS. The pair met face-to-face in October and November. According to CNN, after these meetings is when Christopher Cornell set his alleged plot into motion, reading up on making pipe bombs and saving money to purchase weapons.
Christopher Lee Cornell’s father, however, says there is no way his son could afford to purchase the weapons and ammunition needed to carry out the alleged plot. According to Cornell Sr., his son was unemployed, only worked seasonally, and was about $500 short of having the funds necessary for purchasing the type of weapon authorities maintain he was intending to use in the attack, saying that he “had $1,287 saved up. These guns cost over $1,700.” The father told CNN’s Erin Burnett that he believes the rest of the money may have came from the FBI.
[Image courtesy of Butler County Sheriff’s Office]