The FBI arrested 21-year-old Hasher Jallal Taheb in the metropolitan Atlanta area on Wednesday and charged him with planning a jihad attack on the White House.
Taheb reportedly planned to blast a hole in the side of the White House with an anti-tank missile, then carry out a shooting spree on those within. According to the FBI, he was planning to launch the attack on January 17, the day after agents decided to take him into custody.
A joint task force reported had Taheb under investigation since last March, when a tip from a concerned “community member” said the Cumming, Georgia resident “had become radicalized, changed his name, and made plans to travel abroad.”
An FBI informant contacted Taheb in September shortly after the suspect put his vehicle up for sale. Posing as a potential buyer, the informant befriended Taheb and eventually heard him admit he was selling the vehicle to raise money for a jihad attack, according to the charges against him. His original idea was allegedly to make a “hijra” journey to the Islamic State, but he had misplaced his passport and was having difficulty obtaining a replacement, so he decided to attack the United States on his own.
The informant claims Taleb said that “jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam,” confidently asserting “it was not complicated at all to do jihad today,” as the FBI affidavit puts it. Later he allegedly tried recruiting the informant and an undercover FBI agent to form a “jamaat” or terrorist cell, telling them “jihad was an obligation” and they should all martyr themselves in an attack.
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