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Judge Allows Sealed Report on US Terror Plot Suspect

  • Associated Press

FILE - Court documents say Christopher Lee Cornell, shown in this Jan. 14, 2015 Butler County (Ohio) Jail photo, intended to set off pipe bombs outside the U.S. Capitol.

FILE - Court documents say Christopher Lee Cornell, shown in this Jan. 14, 2015 Butler County (Ohio) Jail photo, intended to set off pipe bombs outside the U.S. Capitol.

A federal judge is allowing attorneys for a man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol to file a sealed report about his mental competency.

Attorneys for 21-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell of Ohio have asked U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith for a hearing to determine his competence to stand trial, stating in a filing that there's "reasonable cause" to believe he suffers from a mental disease or defect.

Beckwith ruled Wednesday they can file a competency report under seal to keep private medical records and personal and family information.

The FBI arrested Cornell on Jan. 14 on charges alleging he planned to attack the Capitol with pipe bombs and to shoot government officials and employees.

Cornell attorneys Martin Pinales and Candace Crouse also represent Michael Hoyt, who was accused this year of threatening to kill then-House Speaker John Boehner. He was ruled not guilty by reason of insanity.

Cornell, being held without bond, has pleaded not guilty to four charges, including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees. No trial date is set, pending evidence deadlines in early 2016.

The FBI has said Cornell wanted to "wage jihad" and sent messages on social media and posted video in support of Islamic State militants and violent attacks by others. The FBI said he had just bought two M-15 assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition when arrested.

FBI Director James Comey said last month in a Cincinnati visit that Islamic State group efforts to recruit potential homegrown terrorists go on "24 hours a day" across the United States.

Cornell uses the Muslim name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah. His father has said he was misled and coerced by "a snitch."

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