FBI Warns Of Possible US Election Violence In Protest-Riven Portland

 

 

The FBI has warned of the potential for armed clashes linked to Tuesday’s US election in Portland, as the northwestern city that has become symbolic of the country’s stark divisions braces for unrest.

The liberal enclave in the state of Oregon is still reeling from a summer that saw mass anti-racism rallies inflamed by the arrival of federal officers and right-wing militias, including the so-called Proud Boys.

Tuesday’s fiercely polarized vote — which could see President Donald Trump reelected, or defeated by his Democratic rival Joe Biden — has spurred fears of more deadly street violence.

Downtown businesses were boarding up windows once again as protests are planned for either a Trump or a Biden win — or a state of limbo, with delays in the vote-counting expected nationwide due to a surge in mail-in voting during the pandemic.

“The thing that is the most concerning to me is the potential for armed clashes between opposing groups,” FBI Portland Special Agent Renn Cannon told AFP.

“That could escalate into a dangerous situation where — if tempers are heated — you could end up with an unfortunate or tragic act of violence,” he added, pointing to a deadly shooting of a far-right supporter in the city in August.

The 250-strong Portland office has devoted additional resources to election crimes including voter suppression as well as fraud and foreign cyber threats, said Cannon.

Meanwhile Governor Kate Brown on Monday issued an executive order handing Portland policing to state forces — effectively overruling the city’s ban on tear gas — and putting the National Guard on standby.

“This is an election like no other in our lifetime,” she warned.

– ‘Wild card situation’ –

Brown’s warnings about white supremacists have drawn scorn from local conservatives including talk-radio host Lars Larson, who Monday accused her of “deafening silence” about “Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence” over five months of protests.

But while Oregon is a safe Democratic state, Portland’s Republican hinterland has made it a focus for protests from all ideologies, with further demonstrators flying in from across the country this summer.

FBI agents are being “extra attentive” to any threats that could “reduce the ability for people to exercise their first amendment rights or exercise the right to vote,” said Cannon.

Officials’ fears of renewed violence were echoed by voters Monday, including restaurant cook Leigh Smith.

“I’ve seen everybody’s boarding up already and I’m like ‘oh geez,'” said the 35-year-old, after mailing her ballot near the downtown courthouse that became an epicenter of earlier demonstrations.

“It’s really a wild card situation. It could be really chill… it could become chaotic.”

One cause for optimism is that Oregon votes entirely by mail, making lengthy voting lines that could be targeted unlikely on Tuesday, said Cannon.

Of greater concern are multiple protests planned in Oregon for the aftermath of a vote which may not yield a result for days or even weeks, he added.

“Whether or not those will have an armed component or not, I don’t know,” said Cannon, with no specific threats currently identified.

– ‘Prepared’ for violence –

One group organizing a rally — the left-wing Democratic Socialists of America’s Portland branch — told AFP it was “prepared for right-wing street violence to express frustration about their candidate not winning” if Joe Biden triumphs.

“It’s our duty to show up and counter them,” said co-chair Olivia Katbi Smith, adding that if protesters fail to mobilize in numbers, militias “will actually drive around and assault people.”

DSA Portland does not advocate for armed response to right-wing extremists, she added.

If Trump tries to claim an illegitimate victory, Katbi Smith hopes liberal groups will bring out protest numbers approaching the tens of thousands who attended Portland’s 2017 women’s rights march.

“We’re going to go forward with specific demands about democracy,” said Katbi Smith, including Trump’s removal or a new vote.

She added: “There will be right-wing mobilizations against us after the election.”

UN Expert Urges FBI To Probe Reporter’s Death In South Sudan

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

Three years on from the killing of US-British journalist Christopher Allen in South Sudan, a UN rights expert on Tuesday urged the FBI to step up and conduct an investigation.

Allen, 26, a freelance reporter, was embedded with rebel fighters and fatally shot in the head during a battle with the South Sudanese army in late August 2017.

“The fact that for three whole years there has been no independent investigation into Mr. Allen’s killing sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“The governments of South Sudan and the United States can and must take steps to ensure that the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s murder are fully, independently and fearlessly investigated,” she said in a statement.

“The FBI has a duty, both legal and moral, to investigate Mr. Allen’s killing because of well-founded suspicions that war crimes may have been committed by members of South Sudanese forces,” she said.

United Nations experts do not speak for the UN but report their findings to it.

South Sudan’s six-year civil war erupted in December 2013, just two years after it obtained independence from Sudan. The war left 380,000 dead and millions displaced.

Callamard said at least 10 other journalists had been killed with impunity during the civil war.

“Mr. Allen’s murder is indicative of the wider climate of hostility towards journalists in the country,” she said.

The rapporteur noted she had written to the South Sudanese authorities on January 30 this year asking about an investigation but had received no response.

Washington said it had raised concerns with the South Sudan government, while London voiced concerns about the lack of an investigation, said Callamard.

She, therefore, urged the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct its own inquiry.

AFP

Wanted Fraudster On FBI List Sentenced To Two Years Imprisonment

A photo released by the EFCC shows Abiona Festus who was sentenced to two years imprisonment for internet fraud.

 

An internet fraudster on the wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States Department of Justice has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Abiona Festus was convicted and sentenced by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Tuesday.

He was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, said in a statement.

Oyewale explained that the FBI, in a petition dated July 10, 2019, had appealed to the Ilorin zonal office of the EFCC to ensure Festus’ arrest and prosecution, for his roles in a multi-million naira international scam.

One of the charges read, “That you Abiona Akinyemi Festus (Ella Jones), sometime between January 2011- May 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court by means of fraudulent trick used the email address [email protected] to bypass online security and obtained the sum of N5,950,000 (Five Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), only from retirement accounts, held by an insurance company for public workers in the United States of America.”

When the charges were read to him during his arraignment, Festus pleaded guilty.

Thereafter, the EFCC Head of Advance Fee Fraud at the Ilorin zonal office, Olamide Sadiq, reviewed the facts of the case, which included that defendant was arrested based on a petition from the FBI linking him to the offence.

Justice Taiwo then convicted him as charged and sentenced him to one year imprisonment on each of the two counts, with a N300,000 option of fine on each of the counts.

The judge also ordered him to return the sums of money he cornered to the FBI.

 

Soldier Arrested For Cybercrime?

In an earlier statement, Oyewale said EFCC operatives have arrested a serving soldier, Lance Corporal Ajayi Kayode, and 26 others for alleged internet fraud in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

A photo released by the EFCC shows the soldiers and others paraded for alleged cybercrime in Lagos.

 

Kayode, with service number NAF18/34732, was reportedly arrested in his military uniform during an early morning raid at 6B, Fatai Idowu Arobike, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, on Saturday last week.

According to the EFCC spokesman, the arrest followed intelligence received from concerned members of the public about his alleged involvement in criminal activities.

The soldier was arrested alongside Kalu Emmanue, Hassan Sunday, Odinaka Okem, Victor Ochiabuito, Christopher Prince, Victor Ologhu, Alex Aka, Miracle Onyekwere, Habeeb Ayomide, Olakunle Ajeigbu, Rasheed Olanrewaju, and Salam Hakeem.

Others are Adeniran Nurudeen, Opeyemi Chris, Derrick Moris, Shehu Oluoti, Fuad Akinbayo, Babatunde Idowu, Uzo Nathaniel, Debowale Adedoyin, Shegun Emmanuel, Godswill Maduchem, Samson Kazeem, Oluwatobi Oluwatoba, Olaitan Ajao, and Oyindamola Kareem.

Kayode was said to have confessed that suspects in whose company he was arrested were his friends, adding that they had been teaching him how to make money through cybercrime.

Rescuing Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse

 

 

With every report to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and every law enforcement investigation dealing with child sexual abuse material, a largely unseen—but urgent—effort begins to identify and aid the child or children being harmed in the images.

It is an effort that relies on technology and painstaking investigative work—where details as small as a baseball cap or a soda cup have provided the clues that allowed investigators to find a child.

At the FBI, the Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) works alongside Operation Rescue Me to explore every possible avenue in identifying a child victim of sexual abuse. Operation Rescue Me is focused on rescuing the child victim from further abuse and exploitation. In pursuit of that same goal, ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults whose faces and/or distinguishing characteristics are visible in images of child sexual abuse.

Special Agent Karen Jurden, who heads both programs within the FBI’s Violent Crime Section, explained the two programs this way: “Our goal is to identify victims. But if we’ve exhausted everything we can do on the child, and we have an image where an adult does appear, we will pursue that angle.”

She stressed that the adults featured on ECAP are not always suspected of wrongdoing. “We know that person has knowledge of the victim,” she said.

You can view images of adults of interest in current cases on the ECAP site and below. There are also a number of images that show items in the background of an image or something a child or an adult is wearing.

“There is nothing better than knowing publicity has helped our agents solve one of these cases and identify a child.”

Chris Allen, chief, FBI Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit
With a larger number of eyes on these pictures, there is a greater likelihood that someone will spot a person or item they recognize and help point law enforcement in the right direction.

“Every time we have a new case, it draws people’s attention to older cases as well,” Jurden said. “People have helped us solve older cases that way.”

“For every ECAP case we work on, we use every available publicity tool to ensure the maximum number of people will see the images,” said Chris Allen, chief of the FBI’s Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit. “There is nothing better than knowing publicity has helped our agents solve one of these cases and identify a child.”

The Effort to Identify Every Child Victim

When the FBI (or any law enforcement agency) seizes child sexual abuse material from an offender—and Jurden said many offenders have hundreds or thousands of files—the FBI brings the material to NCMEC.

NCMEC runs a digital scan that checks the material against images and videos that already exist in their system, explained Shelley Allwang, manager of NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program. The process allows NCMEC to see which victims are already known to them.

These children have either already been reached or NCMEC is actively working with law enforcement both domestically and internationally to identify them.

The most pressing goal, Allwang said, is to find “the children we have never seen before because these could be children who are being victimized right now.”

Allwang said NCMEC has a number of high-tech and human tools to help in the process of identifying these victims, but if they reach a dead-end, they return the case to the investigators who brought them the material. “We are not law enforcement,” Allwang stressed, “so we can only use the tools we have.”

If the file began with an FBI case, the charge of identifying that still unknown victim comes back to FBI agents and becomes an active case within the Operation Rescue Me program and possibly ECAP.

Jurden and Allwang both acknowledge that the number of these cases and the volume of images can give rise to feelings of both fury and hopelessness. But while the scale of the crime is daunting, these cases are not being lumped together by law enforcement or by NCMEC. The two groups are committed to the heartbreaking work of cataloging each image and finding the children in them.

“If you look at the totality, you won’t sleep at night,” Jurden said. “The answer is to take it case by case. It is rewarding to wake up each day and know you’re doing something. And to know I’m not the only one doing this.”

Allwang also said she is comforted both by thinking of her impact on individual children and by the knowledge that there is a global network of people who are fighting alongside her. “So many people from so many different professions are invested in solving this problem—technology companies, law enforcement, advocates, media, prosecutors, judges,” Allwang said. “They are all motivated by the mission.”

Allwang said she is also moved by the bravery and resilience she sees in survivors of child sexual abuse. “I see the worst of humanity,” she said. “But I also see the best.”

The FBI began ECAP in 2004 and it has investigated 41 cases to date. The program has successfully identified 28 of the individuals profiled and found 45 child victims. The remaining cases remain active investigations. And the FBI will stay on them—case by case, child by child.

How to Help

Make a report regarding child sexual exploitation using NCMEC’s CyberTipline.
Learn how NCMEC can help remove child sexual abuse material online and more at the Get Help Now section of their website.

Review the FBI’s and NCMEC’s free resources to help parents and children learn more about staying safe.

Learn more about online exploitation. While hands-on abuse is almost always carried out by someone in a child’s immediate orbit, children can be exploited online by a predator who lives anywhere.

ECAP

On February 21, 2004, the FBI began its Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) as a new proactive approach to identifying unknown individuals involved in the sexual abuse of children and the production of child sexual abuse material.

A collaborative effort between the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults (referred to as John/Jane Does) whose faces and/or distinguishing characteristics are visible in child sexual abuse material.

FBI Seeks Help To Arrest Six Nigerians Over N2.4bn Internet Fraud

A photo combination of six Nigerians indicted by the United States' FBI for wire fraud
A photo combination of six Nigerians indicted by the United States’ FBI for wire fraud

 

The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) on Saturday said it was seeking assistance in finding six Nigerians wanted for their involvement in fraudulent activities worth over N2.3bn ($6m).

“Help the #FBI find ​six Nigerian nationals wanted for their involvement in ​business​ email ​compromise (BEC) schemes resulting in over $6 ​million in losses,” the US agency said on its verified Twitter handle.

 

The FBI-indicted Nigerians include Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Felix Osilama Okpoh, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson.

The FBI said all six are “believed to currently reside in Nigeria.

According to the FBI, the six were part of an operation that “allegedly sent spoofed emails to thousands of businesses in the United States requesting fraudulent wire transfers.”

Epstein: Prince Andrew Yet To Grant FBI’s Request For Interview – US Prosecutor

FILES) Britain’s Prince Andrew has said on August 18, 2019 he was “appalled” by allegations of sexual abuse surrounding Jeffrey Epstein after a video was released purporting to show him at the home of the convicted paedophile in 2010.  LEON NEAL / AFP

 

Prince Andrew has provided “zero cooperation” regarding late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and has yet to respond to an FBI request for an interview, a US prosecutor said Monday.

Andrew denies claims he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured by Epstein and said in November he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required.”

But New York attorney Geoffrey Berman, who is leading an investigation into possible co-conspirators of Epstein’s, said his office and the FBI had not heard from Andrew despite his offer to cooperate.

“To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman told reporters during a news conference outside Epstein’s former New York home where Andrew has admitted staying at in the past.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to request for comment when contacted by AFP.

Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, 59, was forced to step back from royal duties after he faced outrage over an interview with the BBC late last year in which he defended his friendship with disgraced US financier Epstein.

Epstein, 66 committed suicide in a New York jail last summer while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

He was a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager who befriended countless celebrities over the years, including US President Donald Trump.

Epstein was charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and another of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors.

He denied the charges but was facing up to 45 years in jail if found guilty. His death also deprived countless alleged victims of justice.

Dozens of women who say they were abused by Epstein have sued his estate and prosecutors have pledged to pursue any accomplices.

“Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have done what he did without the assistance of others and I can assure you that our investigation is moving forward,” Berman said Monday.

Epstein’s death fueled several conspiracy theories, mostly speculating that he was murdered to stop him revealing compromising information about some of his wealthy acquaintances.

Epstein was convicted in Florida in 2008 of paying young girls for massages but served just 13 months in jail under a secret plea deal struck with the then state prosecutor.

Cybercrime: 167 Nigerians Arrested In EFCC, FBI Joint Operation

 

The collaborative operation between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (E.F.C.C) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested 167 Nigerians for alleged computer-related frauds.

This was disclosed at a joint press briefing by both agencies in Lagos on Tuesday.

According to the Director Of Operations, EFCC, Mohammed Abba, the suspects were arrested barely one month when the operation rewired collaboration was launched.

He added that the sum of $169,850, as well as the sum of N92 million, four exotic cars and,  landed property in Abuja and Lagos, have been recovered.

“From August 12, 2019, till date, the collaborative operation rewired coordinated by the EFCC Nigeria as an impetus to our sustained operation of perpetrators of various computer-related frauds have resulted in the arrest of 167 Nigerians for alleged computer-related frauds.

“We have also recovered from the arrested fraudsters, the sum of $169,850 as well as the sum of N92 million.

“Also, four exotic cars, plots of land in choice areas in Lagos and property in Abuja were also recovered during the collaborative operations.”

READ ALSO: Over 1,400 Killed By Gunmen Within Six Months In Nigeria – UN

Meanwhile, the FBI legal attaché to the US Embassy in Nigeria, Ahamdi Uche, said that the US global reporting internet fraud body received a total of 20,373 Business Email Compromise complaints with losses of over $1.2 billion.

“In 2018, the IC3 (Global reporting internet fraud body), received 20,373 Business Email Compromise complaints with losses of over 1.2 billion dollars.

“The global goal of this operation is to send a message to all who participate in the scheme that they will be caught and prosecuted, regardless of where they are located.”

EFCC Arrests Notorious Internet Fraudster Wanted By FBI

 

One of the suspected internet fraudsters, wanted by the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, (FBI) Joseph Oyediran, has been arrested by operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ilorin zonal office in Kwara State.

The zonal head of the EFCC in Ilorin, Isyaku Sharu, disclosed this during a press conference on Friday to give updates on the EFCC/FBI collaboration in the fight against internet fraud and cybercrime.

According to Sharu, Oyediran had allegedly benefited about N60 million from the loot via Western Union transfers.

Read Also: [FBI Bust] EFCC Gathering Data On Indicted Nigerians In US – Magu

He further explained that the commission is committed to ensuring effective coordination of the Nigerian end of the investigation with the FBI and other partner international law enforcement agencies involved in the worldwide crackdown down on internet fraud.

He says within seven months of its operations in Ilorin, it has revved up efforts to rid the country of cybercrime which has resulted in the arrest of more than 50 persons involved in internet fraud.

Of the 50 persons, 25, according to Sharu have been successfully prosecuted.

Cybercrime: The Orientation Agency Has A Lot To Do, Says Ex-Rep Member

A former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Dayo Bush-Alebiosu.

 

A former member of the House of Representatives, Dayo Bush-Alebiosu, has blamed the increasing rate of cybercrime among youths on the decay of societal morals.

Bush-Alebiosu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, asked the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to urgently address the menace.

“The (National) Orientation Agency has a lot to do,” he said on Monday when asked how the activity can be well tackled.

“There is a need for cultural re-orientation, moral re-orientation. There is that need to be psyched as individuals.”

READ ALSO: FBI Bust: There’ll Be New Executive Orders To Tackle International Fraud – Presidency

The former lawmaker also asked the Federal Government to work on ways to review the Cybercrime Act with a view to modifying it.

He advised the NOA to liaise with the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to effectively regulate what is being transmitted, in order to prevent negative influence on the youth.

“There is a need for the National Orientation Agency to work with the NBC. For example, music is a very powerful tool, and in the wrong hands can cause a lot of damage,” Bush-Alebiosu.

He added, “We have seen what Fela was able to do with it, we have seen what Bob Marley was able to do with music, we have seen what Orlando was able to do with it, and so many more.

“When we have young musicians who glorify certain things or certain acts, what do you think happens? It becomes popular, it becomes a norm. The abnormal becomes normal.”

Bush-Alebiosu’s comments were in reaction to the recent arrest of 80 persons, mostly Nigerians for various crimes including massive email fraud and money laundering in the United States.

The suspects were indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of netting millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

FBI Bust: There’ll Be New Executive Orders To Tackle International Fraud – Presidency

 

The Presidency has said that new executive orders will be given to tackle international fraud. 

This is according to Mr Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity.

His comments come few days after US authorities announced charges against 80 people, most of which are Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

READ ALSO: FBI List: NIDCOM Warns Against Stereotyping All Nigerians

Reacting to the development, Mr Garba Shehu who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said the present administration will work with all nations around the globe to fight criminality.

“The government will generate and ask for new laws from the National Assembly and there will be new executive orders that will block some of these loop holes that have been exploited by our fellow country men to go out there and embarrass and black paint the country”.

The President’s media aide said, “Every citizen of this country who travels out of the country, is required to obey the laws of their host countries,” adding that “the government would not stand in the way of the justice system.”

He further stressed that President Buhari is not one to excuse Nigerians from obeying laws of the country in which they reside.

Speaking about the negative impact and stigma which the recent bust by the FBI might have, Mr Shehu said, “The action of a single Nigerian is not the action of all Nigerians”.

He also stated that Nigerians are hardworking and honest people, and as such cannot all be termed fraudulent just because of the misdeeds of a very few.

 

 

FBI Investigating US Financier Epstein’s Death

The wealthy US financier Jeffrey Epstein, indicted on charges he trafficked underage girls for sex, committed suicide in prison, US news media reported on August 10, 2019. / AFP

 

The FBI is investigating the apparent suicide in a New York prison of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, the Justice Department said Saturday.

The department’s Bureau of Prisons made the announcement as questions were raised as to how a high-profile inmate who had apparently attempted to kill himself last month could take his life in what is supposed to be a highly secure federal facility in downtown Manhattan.

Epstein was charged with trafficking girls for sex.

READ ALSO: US Financier Epstein Commits Suicide In Prison

The bureau said Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center “from an apparent suicide.”

It said staff began life-saving measures and Epstein was eventually rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“The FBI is investigating the incident,” said the bureau.

AFP

Suspected Terrorist Arrested For Planning To Attack White House

 

Authorities in the US state of Georgia have arrested a 21-year-old man who sought to buy explosives and an anti-tank rocket for a “jihad” suicide attack on the White House planned for Thursday.

Byung Pak, the US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, announced the arrest of Hasher Taheb of Cumming, Georgia late Wednesday after a months-long FBI investigation sparked by a tip from the local community “that Taheb had become radicalized.”

According to the indictment, Taheb tried to recruit an informant and an undercover FBI agent into a plan to attack the White House and other targets in Washington, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and an unnamed synagogue.

Wanting to fulfil his “duty” to conduct jihad and expecting to become a “martyr,” Taheb originally hoped to travel to Islamic State-held territory in the Middle East, he told the FBI source, the indictment said.

But because he had lost his passport, Taheb told the informant it would be better to launch attacks inside the United States.

On December 7, 2018, he met the undercover agent and revealed a hand-drawn diagram of the White House West Wing, where the president’s office is located.

In the subsequent weeks, Taheb detailed what weapons he wanted to acquire for the plot, and assigned the FBI agent to obtain them: semi-automatic weapons, grenades and an AT-4 shoulder-mounted anti-tank weapon.

His plan was for the trio to jointly launch the attack on what he referred to as “game day,” eventually pinpointed as January 17.

“Specifically, he described his plan to use the AT-4 to blow a hole in the White House so that the group could enter,” the indictment said.

Taheb advised the source “that jihad was the best deed in Islam and the peak of Islam,” the indictment said.

On Wednesday, the three met in the parking lot of a store in Buford, Georgia where the FBI agent was to hand over the explosives and weapons, all of which had been rendered inert.

When Taheb took delivery of the weapons, he was arrested.

Officials and the indictment provided no background on Taheb or whether he had made any contact with jihadist groups abroad.

But Pak said no targets in Washington or Georgia were ever truly threatened by the plot.

In a separate case, on Thursday a 49-year-old man, Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts or Abdur Raheem Rafeeq, was arrested in a Cleveland, Ohio suburb and charged with planning a terror attack on the city on July 4, the US Independence Day holiday.

Undercover FBI agents communicated with Pitts for months on the plot before arresting him.

“Pitts, a US citizen living in Ohio, pledged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda,” a Justice Department statement said.

AFP