Arrest in alleged plot to bomb military recruitment center
Authorities say suspect tried to detonate what turned out to be a phony bombhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40568646/ns/us_news-security/
BALTIMORE — A man has been arrested for plotting to blow up a military recruitment center in the Baltimore area, authorities said Wednesday.
The Baltimore man planned to detonate a vehicle bomb at a U.S. Armed Forces recruitment center in Catonsville, Md., a plot that was a sting operation, the U.S. Justice Department said.
"There was no actual danger to the public as the explosives were inert and the suspect had been carefully monitored by law enforcement for months," said Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd.
He faces charges of attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
Court documents identified the suspect as Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain.
He is alleged to have told an undercover FBI source in October that he was seeking to attack and kill military personnel.
In conversations through his Facebook account, Martinez allegedly told the source that all he thinks about is jihad.
The documents say Martinez talked with the source about shooting people inside the center and burning the building.
The arrest follows a series of sting operations by law enforcement agencies involving terrorism plots, including one case in which an Oregon man was arrested last month
on charges he tried to detonate a car bomb near a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.
- Only on msnbc.com
A senior FBI official told NBC News the suspect had been under surveillance for two months, was given a phony bomb and was then arrested after trying to detonate it at the recruitment center. The Armed Forces Career Center, located in a shopping center, houses Army, Air Force and Marine Corps recruiters.
Officials said he gave off repeated warning signs before the sting began, trying at least three times to persuade people he knew to get him guns. He also posted videos online advocating violent jihad, they said.
An official told the Associated Press that the suspect is a United States citizen.
Authorities said there is no evidence the man is tied to the recent shootings at military recruiting centers in the Washington, D.C. metro area. An unknown person shot at military buildings at least five times between Oct. 16 and Nov. 2. No one was injured in the shootings.