Ohio Man Arrested for Planning Attack on U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -

An Ohio man claiming sympathy with Islamic State terrorists was arrested and charged on Wednesday in connection with a plot to attack the U.S. Capitol with guns and bombs, court documents disclosed.

Christopher Cornell, 20, of Cincinnati researched the construction of pipe bombs, purchased a semi-automatic rifle and 600 rounds of ammunition and made plans to travel to Washington to carry out the plot, according to an FBI informant’s legal testimony.

Court documents showed that Cornell indicated on social media that he supported the Islamic State group under the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah.

According to the documents, in instant messages to the undercover FBI informant, Cornell indicated that while he did not have support to conduct an attack on behalf of any group, “we already got a thumbs up from the Brothers over there and Anwar al Awlaki before his martyrdom and many others.” Awlaki was killed by the United States in Yemen in 2011.

In a November meeting with the informant, Cornell said he considered members of Congress to be his enemies, and he outlined a plan to place pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol and use firearms to kill employees and officials inside, according to the documents.

Ohio U.S. Republican Senator Rob Portman praised the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for their work “to thwart this potential terrorist act. It is an important reminder of the very real threat that radical Islam continues to pose to the homeland.”