Feds recommend 15-year sentence after man pleads guilty to plotting attack on White House

Feds recommend 15-year sentence after man pleads guilty to plotting attack on White House
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A Georgia man pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on the White House using weapons and explosives, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday. 

The government is recommending a 15-year sentence for the 23-year-old man, Hasher Jallal Taheb. The DOJ said Taheb agreed to the sentence as part of a plea deal. 

Taheb’s sentencing is scheduled for June 23. 

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“Taheb planned to conduct a terrorist attack on the White House as part of what he claimed was his obligation to engage in jihad,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said in the announcement. 

According to the Justice Department, Taheb also planned to target the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue. 

He was arrested on Jan. 16, 2019, after he arrived at a pre-arranged location where he expected to obtain weapons, according to the DOJ. 

During undercover meetings in January 2018, Taheb had produced sketches of the White House and described weapons and explosives he wanted to use in the attack, including semi-automatic weapons, improvised explosive devices, an anti-tank weapon and hand grenades, DOJ said. 

“This plea is the result of a more than year-long intensive investigation by FBI Atlanta’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was because of a tip from the community,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.  

The investigation began after a member of the Atlanta community reported concerns about Taheb to local law enforcement in March 2018, according to officials. 

“Our citizens are our most important weapons in fighting terrorism, our eyes and ears in our communities, and why we say to please contact law enforcement if you see or hear something suspicious,” Hacker added.