Christopher Lee Cornell: Ohio Man Planned ISIS-Inspired Attack on US Capitol, Police Say

January 14, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Christopher Lee Cornell, an Ohio man, has been arrested for allegedly planning an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Cornell, who is also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official, reported ABC.

Cornell hoped to set off a series of bombs at the capitol and kill elected officials.

The FBI first noticed Cornell when he voiced support for “jihad” on a Twitter account.

FBI agent T.A. Staderman said in his official statement that Cornell posted statements, videos, and other content indicating his support for ISIS, also known as ISIL, as well as support for violent attacks committed by others in North America and elsewhere.

In an instant message to the undercover FBI agent, Cornell said that he had been in contact with people overseas but hadn’t received and didn’t think he would receive authorization to conduct a terrorist attack in the U.S., but he planned to any way.

“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” he said. 

Cornell later met with the undercover agent twice to discuss the attack, reported WCPO. He didn’t want to reveal his plans at their first meeting in October 2014, although he said they needed weapons. He also showed the agent jihadist videos and information about how to construct bombs. They met again in November.

He wanted to bomb the building and also shoot government officials and employees.

Cornell was arrested on January 14 when he purchased two M-15 semi-automatic rifles.

USA v Christopher Lee Cornell – Complaint by Nathaniel Pruitt

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security circulated a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the country.

The alleged activities of Cornell highlight the continued interest of US-based violent extremists to support designated foreign terrorist organizations overseas, such as ISIL, by committing terrorist acts in the United States,” the bulletin read.

“Terrorist group members and supporters will almost certainly continue to use social media platforms to disseminate English language violent extremist messages.”

Chad Pregram of Fox reported that Cornell was arrested in the Cincinnati area.

“Plot was ‘aspirational,'” he said. “No danger to public.”

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