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(Updated) FBI Nabs Another Jihad-Obsessed Potential Bomber in Sting Operation

"There was no actual danger to the public..."


The LA Times has more on the attempted bomber:

Federal authorities say Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain, attempted to detonate what he believed to be a vehicle bomb this morning at the Armed Forces Career Center in the 5400 block of Baltimore National Pike.

Court records paint Martinez as obsessed with Jihad and intent on punishing the military. He praised Nidal Hassan, the U.S. Army major who killed 13 people at Fort Hood, and discussed obtaining weapons and shooting up military installations, records show.

In November, he was observed on a public computer in Woodlawn viewing videos of Osama bin Laden and an Iraqi martyrdom. He discussed in public postings on his Facebook page how the "reign of oppression is about 2 cease."

It was through the social networking site that he communicated at times with an FBI informant, saying he wanted to go to Pakistan or Afghanistan and join the ranks of the "mujahideen."


BALTIMORE (AP) -- A Baltimore man was arrested Wednesday for plotting to blow up a military recruitment center, authorities said.

The man was caught in a sting operation as he tried to detonate a phony bomb at an Armed Forces recruiting station in Catonsville, just outside Baltimore, officials said.

"There was no actual danger to the public as the explosives were inert and the suspect had been carefully monitored by law enforcement for months," the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland said in a statement.

The man was a U.S. citizen who was arrested after he tried to set off what he thought was a bomb, according to an official briefed on the arrest. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information.

The man acted alone and did not train overseas or get instructions from anyone overseas, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the man had not been formally charged.

There was no evidence the plot was linked to recent shootings at military installations in the Washington area, authorities said.

The man had an initial appearance scheduled for 2 p.m. in federal court in Baltimore. The court calendar listed his name as Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain.

There are several military recruiting offices in Catonsville, and it was not immediately clear which had been targeted. Petty Officer Brandyn Hill, a Coast Guard spokesman, said he was told by people working in the Coast Guard office that it was not the target of the plot.

The case comes after a recent bomb plot in Portland, Ore. The day after Thanksgiving, a Somali-born teenager was arrested there after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, authorities said. He thought he was going to bomb a crowded downtown Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Like the Baltimore County case, it turned out to be a dummy bomb plot put together by FBI agents. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested after authorities said he planned the details of the plot, including where to park the van filled with explosives to hurt the most people. Mohamud allegedly believed he was receiving help from a larger ring of jihadists as he communicated with undercover agents.

The incidents are the latest in a string of alleged terrorist plans by U.S. citizens or residents, including a Times Square plot in which a Pakistan-born man tried to set off a car bomb on a busy street. He pleaded guilty earlier this year.


Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.

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