FBI: Man wanted to attack White House with anti-tank rocket

ATLANTA (AP) – A Georgia man accused of plotting to use an anti-tank rocket to storm into the White House was arrested in a sting on Wednesday after he traded his car for guns and explosives, authorities said.

Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, of Cumming was arrested on Wednesday and is charged with attempting to damage or destroy a building owned by the United States using fire or an explosive, US Attorney Byung J ‘BJay’ Pak said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Taheb had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

A local law enforcement agency contacted the FBI in March last year after getting a tip from someone who said Taheb had become radicalised, changed his name and planned to travel abroad, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit filed in court.

The affidavit said Taheb told a confidential FBI source in October last year that he planned to travel abroad, which the agent wrote refers to travelling to territory controlled by the Islamic State (IS).

Because he didn’t have a passport, he couldn’t travel abroad and told the FBI source that he wanted to carry out an attack in the US against the White House and the Statue of Liberty.

He met with the undercover agent and the FBI source multiple times last month and was also in frequent contact using an encrypted messaging application, the affidavit says.

During one meeting with the agent and the source, Taheb “advised that if they were to go to another country, they would be one of many, but if they stayed in the United States, they could do more damage,” the affidavit said.

At another meeting, he showed the undercover agent a hand-drawn diagram of the ground floor of the West Wing of the White House and detailed a plan for attack, the affidavit said.

He asked the undercover agent to obtain the weapons and explosives needed to carry out the attack, and they discussed selling or exchanging their cars to pay for them.