CLEVELAND — A U.S. man is facing charges after a terror plot was thwarted in Cleveland on the 4th of July.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony said Demetrius Pitts was taken into custody yesterday and is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
Anthony explained the FBI began receiving reports last year that Pitts was making statements supporting Al-Qaeda and about taking actions against particular U.S. entities while living in Cincinnati. He moved to Cleveland in May.
Anthony added Pitts was posting statements to Facebook calling on Muslims “to start training everyday to know how to shoot guns, throw hand grenades and hand-to-hand combat.”
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said that last week, Pitts was walking around downtown Cleveland conducting reconnaissance on what he thought was a large scale attack planned for the 4th of July.
Pitts was looking for locations to park a van that would be packed with explosives and he talked about taking targets like St. John’s Cathedral off the map.
Herdman added Pitts also discussed giving remote control cars packed with explosives and shrapnel to children of the U.S. Military.
Pitts faces up to 20 years in prison.
(Photo by Anthony Wallace/Getty Images.)
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