The FBI has arrested a Georgia man who was allegedly plotting to launch a fierce attack on the White House. Authorities believe that Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, traded his car in exchange for an antitank rocket, guns and explosives he planned on using during a storming of the executive branch.
The FBI arrested the Georgia resident in a sting operation Wednesday after being tipped off from someone close to the suspect who claimed he had been radicalized. According to the Associated Press, both a source and an undercover agent made contact with Taheb after he put his vehicle up for sale in August. Taheb falsely believed that the pair were going to help him carry out the atrocity.
This is 21 yr old Hasher Taheb, from Forsyth County, arrested by the FBI for allegedly plotting to blow up the White House. We’re live from his neighborhood at 11 #Nightbeat pic.twitter.com/dKdgSBNBc8
— Jovita Moore (@JovitaMoore) January 17, 2019
In one of his meetings with the FBI source, Taheb “explained that jihad was an obligation, that he wanted to do as much damage as possible, and that he expected to be a ‘martyr,’ meaning he expected to die during the attack.”
“He described his plan to use the AT-4 to blow a hole in the White House so that the group could enter,” FBI Special Agent Tyler Krueger noted in an affidavit. “His plan was to go in and take down as many (people) as they possibly could.”
According to the official complaint, Taheb also wanted to create a “base” where he could record videos encouraging others to carry out acts of terror.
“He stated he would be the narrator, clips of oppressed Muslims would be shown, and American and Israeli flags would be burned in the background,” the document read.
Investigators believe that the assailant planned on traveling abroad for further training, most likely with the Islamic State group. In terms of the actual attack, Taheb hoped to blow a hole in the side of the White House with his AT4 anti-tank rocket launcher, before going on a rampage inside the building with semi-automatic rifles. He was also planning to wear a backpack stuffed with live explosives.
Yesterday, Taheb made a brief court appearance, during which a federal judge explained the types of charges he would be facing. According to prosecutors, there is no longer any threat to the public, and Taheb was acting alone.
“All potential threats have been neutralized and were under control from the inception of this case,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Taheb remains in police custody in Georgia at this time.