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Ohio Man Pleads Guilty To Plotting July 4th Terrorist Attack In Attempt To Aid Al Qaeda
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An Ohio man has pleaded guilty in an attempt to provide material aid to by plotting a terrorist attack on July 4th.

The Maple Heights man, Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts (also known as Abdur Raheem Rafeeq and Salah ad-Deen Osama Waleed) spent two years expressing anti-American sentiments and a “desire to recruit people to kill Americans,” the Department of Justice said in a statement released Tuesday. Pitts, 50, “pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, threats against the President of the United States and threats against family members of the President of the United States,” the statement said.

After Pitts expressed a desire to meet someone in al Qaeda in June 2018, he was put in touch with an undercover FBI agent. The agent posed as a member of al Qaeda and met with Pitts that month in Walton Hills, Ohio. The two discussed Pitts’ plans to launch an attack that July 4th.

“I’m trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the 4th of July,” Pitt told the agent, according to the DOJ. He later said: “What would hit them at their core?  Blow up in the, have a bomb blow up in the 4th of July parade.”

Pitts planned to set off the bomb in Cleveland, and searched online for a map of the downtown area. Once he learned from what park the fireworks would be launched as part of the 4th of July holiday, he suggested that be the place of the bomb. The DOJ statement said Pitts was “pleased the park was near the U.S. Coast Guard station, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Celebrezze Federal Building.”

Pitts told the undercover agent that he would go to Voinovich Park to take photos and video footage of the area for surveillance purposes. He also said he wanted to take a tour of the U.S. Coast Guard station to learn about the facility.

Pitts met with another undercover FBI official on June 25 to pick up supplies to conduct the surveillance efforts. The next day, he texted the first agent to say he completed his surveillance and wanted to “destroy the government.” He also expressed interest in traveling to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to look for places where someone else could execute a terrorist attack.

On June 27, Pitts again met with the FBI agent to discuss their plans to bomb the Fourth of July event.

“And I’m gonna be downtown when the – when the thing go off.  I’m gonna be somewhere cuz I wanna see it go off,” Pitts allegedly told the agent.

Pitts also made videos of himself on his phone pledging allegiance to al Qaeda. “We serve Allah . . . We fight our enemies.  We destroy them and destroy those who try to oppose…” he allegedly said in the videos. The phone also contained Pitts’ surveillance videos.

Just days before the attack was supposed to take place, Pitts was asked to explain his plans for an attack in Philadelphia. He was reminded at that time that people could die. He apparently replied; “I don’t care,” adding that he had “no regrets.”

Pitts also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill President Donald Trump and his family members.

“Pitts is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 11, 2020. Under the terms of his guilty plea, Pitts is likely to be sentenced to 14 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release,” the DOJ statement said.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ohio Man Pleads Guilty To Plotting July 4th Terrorist Attack In Attempt To Aid Al Qaeda