A former U.S. Army infantryman has been arrested for allegedly planning to carry out a terrorist attack on American soil, after plotting with an undercover FBI agent in seeking "martyrdom.'
The Afghanistan war veteran was reportedly seeking retribution for the 50 Muslim worshippers murdered last month in New Zealand.
What are the details?
The suspect — whose name is intentionally being omitted by TheBlaze — is a 26-year-old man who caught the attention of law enforcement after he posted a video on social media saying, "America needs another Vegas event," to give "a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world," referring to the 2017 attack in Las Vegas that left 58 concertgoers dead with no clear motive.
NBC News reported the ex-soldier mulled various attacks with a confidential FBI informant over a six-week period, 'fantasiz[ing] about murdering a laundry list of perceived enemies, including Christians, Jews, white supremacists, police officers, even his next-door neighbor," before deciding on his target.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Central District of California, the trained combat veteran allegedly sought out and obtained what he believed were functioning pressure cooker bombs, and purchased several hundred nails to be used as shrapnel.
When asked by the undercover source whether he intended to get caught, the recently converted Muslim casually replied, "Martyrdom, bro." He also "expressed support for violent jihad,' and told the informant that if ISIS "came here" he would swear allegiance to the terrorist organization.
The suspect planned to detonate improvised explosive devices at a "free speech" rally in Long Beach, California, last weekend, and was taken into custody after he surveilled the site of the would-be attack.
The event was planned by the United Patriot National Front, a right-wing organization several media outlets referred to as "white supremacists," which the group denies.
According to the Press Telegram, the UPNF ultimately did not hold a rally, but a few hundred counter-demonstrators gathered to "stand up to protect people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and all others who suffer from violence promoted by far-right and white-nationalist groups."