A Maryland man faces charges for allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired terror attack near Washington, D.C.
According to a Department of Justice news release sent out Monday afternoon, federal authorities charged 28-year-old Rondell Henry of Germantown, with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle in relation to an alleged plot to run over pedestrians with a truck.
The DOJ says that Henry, "who claimed to be inspired by the ISIS terrorist organization, stole a U-Haul van with the intention of using it as a weapon against pedestrians" on sidewalks near National Harbor in Maryland.
"We continue to gather evidence, as well as review evidence already obtained as part of this ongoing investigation," U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said.
National Harbor sits just a short drive from Washington, D.C., and is a popular shopping and dining spot for people in the D.C. metro area, as well as a major convention venue.
According to court documents, Henry has harbored "hatred" for non-Muslim "disbelievers" for two years and was inspired by online videos to attempt to carry out a vehicular attack similar to the 2016 jihadi attack in Nice, France.
The United States has seen such vehicular attacks in recent years. In October 2017, a suspected terrorist with a rented truck killed eight people in lower Manhattan when he drove through a crowded pedestrian area. The man charged with the attack defended ISIS in court.
Henry is accused of stealing the moving truck from a lot in Northern Virginia before driving it across state lines into Maryland. Law enforcement officials say that after arriving at National Harbor, Henry walked around a popular part of the riverside complex before breaking into a boat overnight. He was apprehended the next morning after law enforcement located the truck.
However, federal authorities also made it clear that Henry is innocent until proven guilty.
"A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt," the news release explains. "An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings."