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FBI: Ohio man planned to bomb US Capitol, kill officials

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:01 AM
Photo made available by the Butler County Jail shows Christopher Lee Cornell.

A 20-year-old Ohio man's Twitter posts sympathising with Islamic terrorists led to an undercover FBI operation and the man's arrest on charges that he plotted to blow up the United States Capitol and kill government officials.

Christopher Lee Cornell, also known as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, told an FBI informant they should "wage jihad", and showed his plans for bombing the Capitol and shooting people, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Ohio Wednesday. The FBI said Cornell expressed his support for the Islamic State.

Cornell's arrest came only days after a grand jury indictment charged another Cincinnati-area resident with threatening to murder House Speaker John Boehner.


FBI lauded


Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement: "Once again, the entire Congress owes a debt of gratitude to the FBI and all those who keep us safe."

The complaint against Cornell charges him with attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States.

Cornell was arrested Wednesday after buying two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, authorities said.

The public was never in danger, said John Barrios, acting special agent in charge of the FBI's Cincinnati division.

The complaint alleges that an FBI informant began supplying agents with information about Cornell last year. The informant and Cornell, who lives in Green Township, first began communicating through Twitter in August 2014 and then through an instant messaging platform separate from Twitter, according to the complaint.

It's unclear from the complaint if Cornell had contact with any terrorist groups, but in an instant message to the informant, Cornell wrote that he had been in contact with persons overseas.