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FBI Thwarts Terror Plot to Set Off Bombs at US Capitol

FILE - Photo made available by the Butler County Jail shows Christopher Lee Cornell

Federal agents on Wednesday arrested a man in the Midwestern state of Ohio for allegedly plotting to set off bombs at the U.S. Capitol in Washington and shoot officials and employees in and around the building.

Christopher Cornell, 20, of Cincinnati was arrested moments after buying a weapon at a Cincinnati gun store. He was charged in a federal court with possessing a firearm in furtherance of an attempted crime of violence and attempting to kill a U.S. government officer.

According to court documents, Cornell allegedly told an FBI informant that he considered members of Congress enemies. According to the informant's testimony, Cornell researched the construction of pipe bombs, purchased a semi-automatic rifle and 600 rounds of ammunition, and made plans to travel to Washington to check out government buildings for security measures and set off pipe bombs outside the Capitol.

The documents said that Cornell believed the attack would show support for Islamic State militants and that he had been in contact with people overseas related to his plot. Cornell indicated on Twitter that he supported the Islamic State group under the alias Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, court documents said.

The FBI said Connell also had bomb-making and Islamic jihadist videos on his computer.

Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said the public was not in any danger during the investigation.

Also Wednesday, a 21-year-old Florida man was given a 20-year sentence for attempting to train and join Islamic extremists in the Middle East.

The Justice Department said Shelton Thomas Bell recruited an unnamed juvenile to go with him to Yemen.

The pair eventually wound up in Jordan, where they were arrested and deported back to the United States.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.

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