Federal prosecutors say a man inspired by the Islamic State group stole a U-Haul truck with plans to drive it into a crowd at National Harbor, a convention and tourist destination just outside the nation’s capital.
The allegation was made in a court filing Monday as prosecutors in Maryland urged a judge to keep the defendant, Rondell Henry, detained on a charge of driving a stolen vehicle across state lines.
The Alexandria Police Department was contacted on March 26, 2019 concerning a leased U-Haul vehicle that had been stolen from a parking garage at a mall in Alexandria, Virginia. The driver noticed a blue BMW follow the U-Haul into a parking garage and then park a few spaces away. Police found the car which revealed it registered to Rondell Henry.
Henry drove to Dulles International Airport in Virginia and entered the terminal, trying to find a way through security. After more than two hours of failing to breach Dulles’s security perimeter, Henry allegedly returned to the U-Haul and headed to National Harbor.
Authorities say Henry admitted that he wanted to create “panic and chaos” and that his plans for a truck attack were modeled after a deadly attack in France.
Prosecutors say Henry told officers he was “just going to keep driving and driving and driving” and didn’t plan on stopping.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Henry had a lawyer.
Updated Monday, April 8, 2019 at 5:14 pm Adds tracking of suspect