The FBI Wednesday arrested an Ohio man for allegedly plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on the U.S. Capitol, where he hoped to set off a series of bombs aimed at lawmakers, whom he allegedly considered enemies.
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, was arrested on charges of attempting to kill a U.S. government official, authorities said.
According to government documents, he allegedly planned to detonate pipe bombs at the national landmark and open fire on any employees and officials fleeing after the explosions. He reportedly bought two AR-15 rifles and 600 rounds of ammunition immediately before his arrest.
The FBI first noticed Cornell several months ago after an informant notified the agency that Cornell was allegedly voicing support for violent “jihad” on Twitter accounts under the alias “Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah,” according to charging documents.
"I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” Cornell allegedly wrote in an online message to the informant in August, according to the FBI. “I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves."
Cornell's mother and father insist that the FBI informant persuaded their son to become involved in the plot and the FBI entrapped him. “I know my son probably better than anyone,” Cornell’s father, John Cornell Sr., told ABC News. “He’s a mommy’s boy. His best friend is his cat Mikey. He still calls his mother ‘Mommy.’ Just a typical kid.”
Cornell Sr. said his son only had about $1,200 in his bank account, not enough to fund even a small-scale attack.
“These guns cost almost $2,000. Where did that money come from? Well, it came from the FBI,” John Cornell Sr. said. “They set him up.”