WASHINGTON, DC — The FBI has arrested an Ohio man who was allegedly plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol, according to a law enforcement official and a complaint filed in Ohio.
Christopher Lee Cornell came to the FBI’s attention several months ago for alarming social media posts in which he talked about violent jihad, according to the criminal complaint. The FBI engaged in an undercover operation, and Cornell told an FBI source that he had aligned himself with ISIS.
“I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State here and plan operations ourselves,” Cornell wrote, according to the complaint.
He was plotting, with the undercover FBI operative, to set off pipe bombs in the U.S. Capitol and shoot people as they fled, the complaint said.
Cornell allegedly researched the targeted government buildings and the construction of pipe bombs, saved money for the attack, and bought weapons and ammunition. He was arrested Wednesday.
The plan was only in the early stages and posed no threat to lawmakers, the law enforcement official said.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as the Islamic State and ISIS, is seeking to create a fundamentalist religious state across Sunni areas in those two countries.
By Pamela Brown