CUMMING, Georgia — Following on a tip to authorities, a man from Georgia has been arrested in a terror plot that allegedly targeted federal buildings–including The White House.
The suspect has been identified as 21-year-old Hasher Jallal Taheb, of Cumming, Georgia. Taheb appeared in a federal court in Atlanta Wednesday.
According to U.S. Attorney BJay Pak, Taheb is charged with “intent to destroy by fire or explosive a building owned, possessed or leased by the United States or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving federal financial assistance,” among other charges.
Taheb allegedly intended to use an anti-tank rocket to carry the attacks. (Anti-tank rockets are man-portable rockets designed to be able to defeat armored vehicles.) It was unclear if he ever obtained the weapon.
Officials believe he was acting alone.
Watch the press conference below:
U.S. Attorney Pak:
“Investigating and prosecuting individuals who seek to cause mass casualties is law enforcement’s top priority. Today, the Joint Terrorism Task Force partners, led by the FBI, arrested Hasher Taheb, 21, of Cumming, Georgia after a thorough investigation into his plans to attack federal buildings. As articulated in the affidavit supporting the complaint, his alleged intent was to attack the White House and other targets of opportunity in the Washington DC area. Mr. Taheb has been charged with violating Title 18USC 844(f)(1) — attempt to damage by means of an explosive any building owned, possessed, or leased by the United States or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving federal financial assistance. The JTTF initiated the case after receiving a tip from the community. Because the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and numerous Federal, state and LE partners are active participants in the JTTF, all potential threats have been neutralized and under control from the inception of this case. Again, I want to clarify that there were no threats posed to any targets located in Northern District of Georgia, nor was the upcoming Super Bowl a target of his alleged activity,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
“It is important to point out that this investigation and arrest were the direct result of a tip from the community, another example of how important it is to contact law enforcement if you see or hear something suspicious,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Taheb is charged as the result of a year-long investigation by FBI Atlanta’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. We want to thank the Forsyth County Sheriff Office and Gwinnett County Police Department for assisting us with his arrest. The investigation is continuing, but at this stage it is believed Taheb was acting on his own.”