(Reuters) – A 21-year-old man from Georgia has been arrested and charged with allegedly plotting to attack the White House with an anti-tank rocket, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.
Hasher Jallal Taheb, of the Atlanta suburb of Cumming, was arrested in Gwinnett County on Wednesday and appeared briefly in federal court in downtown Atlanta in a case brought by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Byung Pak, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, told reporters.
“His alleged intent was to attack the White House and other targets of opportunity in the Washington, D.C., area by using explosive devices, including an improvised explosive device, an anti-tank rocket,” Pak told reporters.
All threats have been neutralized, Pak said in a statement.
The FBI said in the statement that the charges against Taheb were the result of a year-long investigation, which was the “direct result of a tip from the community.”
According to the complaint, Taheb told an FBI confidential source that he had applied for a U.S. passport and said his previous passport had been misplaced. Taheb said that because he could not travel overseas, “he wished to conduct an attack in the United States against targets such as the White House and the Statue of Liberty,” according to the complaint.
Taheb told the FBI source that “jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam.”
Reporting by Andrew Hay; editing by G Crosse and Leslie Adler