During an intense press conference on January 16, U.S. Attorney B.J. Pak explained how investigators foiled a lone terrorist’s deadly plot to attack several federal buildings. Part of the suspect’s plans involved launching an anti-tank rocket directly at the White House’s West Wing.
Thankfully, the culprit has been both identified and apprehended by police. Officials do not believe there is any ongoing threat because the suspect appears to have been acting alone.
Authorities first became aware of the concerning plans of 21-year-old Hasher Jallal Taheb nearly one year ago. A concerned community member and acquaintance of Taheb reached out to police last year because Taheb’s behavior was worrisome.
The citizen told police that Taheb had become “radicalized.” Taheb had been excited and talking about traveling abroad, but he had run into several passport issues. The acquaintance described how Taheb became increasingly angry over the situation, and eventually began talking about carrying out attacks against the United States of America.
Investigators promptly took up the case and began monitoring Taheb’s offline and online behavior. An undercover agent was assigned to chat with Taheb, who reportedly attempted to purchase two backpacks of explosive devices from the agent. The suspect was willing to trade his personal vehicle for the weapons.
Taheb planned on strapping on the explosives and approaching the White House “from the back road” on January 17th. If successful with this attack, then Taheb planned on heading towards the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial next.
The undercover online agent agreed to meet up with Taheb to exchange the explosives. Once the culprit arrived at the meet up spot, he was swarmed by FBI agents.
The 21-year-old is now facing serious charges including attempting to damage by means of explosive a building owned by the United States. Prosecutors are pushing for the case to be tried in front of a grand jury, which would likely increase the severity of his punishments.