FBI foils alleged plot to bomb US Capitol building

Christopher Lee Cornell is accused of expressing his support for 'jihad' on Twitter accounts under an alias

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The Independent US

An American man accused of wanting to set up a US branch of extreme Islamist militant group Isis has been arrested for allegedly planning to bomb the US Capitol building.

Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was detained on charges of attempting to kill a US government official, authorities told ABC News. He was allegedly going to set off pipe bombs at the Capitol, where Congress sits, then shoot people as they fled.

Mr Cornell is accused of expressing his support for “jihad” on Twitter accounts under the alias “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah”.

“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” he allegedly wrote in an online message to an informant in August.

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“I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State (Isis) here and plan operations ourselves."

The same message also said the attacks had “got a thumbs up” from American-born cleric Anwar Awlaki – killed in a US drone strike in Yemen - “before his martyrdom”.

ABC News said that the informant had met Mr Cornell in October and November. During their last meeting it is alleged that he told the informant he was going to attack the US Capitol.

The FBI said that Mr Cornell had looked into bomb-making techniques and had been saving money to fund the attack.

It said he had been making the “final steps” towards carrying out the plot, allegedly buying two semi-automatic rifles and 600 bullets.

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security said in a message sent to other law enforcement agencies across the US: “The alleged activities of Cornell highlight the continued interest of US-based violent extremists to support designated foreign terrorist organizations overseas, such as ISIL (Isis), by committing terrorist acts in the United States.”

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