- Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, also known as Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq, was allegedly planning a massive Fourth of July attack in downtown Cleveland, Ohio
- Pitts scouted out locations for the strike to take place
- He wanted to take St. John’s cathedral ‘off the map’, set off a van filled with explosives, and give children bomb-filled remote controlled cars
- He also discussed plans for a future attack in Philadelphia
- His plans were foiled when he detailed the attack to an undercover FBI agent
- He was arrested Sunday and has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization
- He is due in court Monday and faces up to 20 years in prison
A man has been arrested for allegedly assisting Al Qaeda plot a Fourth of July terror attack in Ohio.
Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, also known as Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq, was arrested Sunday at 10am, officials announced in a press conference Monday.
The US citizen allegedly proclaimed allegiance to Al Qaeda and planned to attack a Fourth of July celebration in downtown Cleveland by setting off a van filled with explosives and by sending remote control cars filled with bombs and shrapnel to the children of military officers.
He also wanted to take St. John’s Cathedral in Cleveland ‘off the map’.
Pitts wanted to target crowds that would gather for the Fourth of July parade in Cleveland as well firework spectators near his building, officials said.
Police revealed that last week he surveyed Fourth of July celebration locations throughout downtown Cleveland, scouting Voinovich Park and the US Coast Guard station, to plan the attack.
His plans were foiled after he detailed his intentions to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Al Qaeda associate.
He met with the undercover agent on Sunday where he shared his attack research, his desire to kill federal agents, and also discussed intentions for a future attack in Philadelphia, where he formerly resided.
‘I did tell myself that their holiday is coming up. The Fourth of July. Independence Day. What would hit them in the core? Blow up. Have a bomb. Blow up at the Fourth of July parade,’ he reportedly said to the agent.
At the end of the meeting, he was arrested.
‘Just last week, this defendant was walking around downtown Cleveland conducting reconnaissance on what he thought was a large-scale attack planned for the Fourth of July,’ United States Attorney Justin Herdman said.
‘He looked for locations to park a van that would be packed with explosives,’ he added.
He was been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
He is set to appear in court Monday and could face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years.