Jordanian arrested over Dallas bomb plot
Sep 25, 2009 at 07:02
A Jordanian man was arrested and charged with attempting to blow up a skyscraper in Dallas on Thursday, the latest in a series of alleged bomb plots disclosed by U.S. officials.
A U.S. Justice Department statement said Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, was arrested after planting an inert bomb at Fountain Place, a 60-story glass tower in downtown Dallas following an undercover FBI operation.
Details of Smadi's arrest were disclosed hours after authorities in Illinois revealed a broadly similar case in Springfield.
Smadi was described as a Jordanian citizen staying in the United States illegally who had "repeatedly espoused his desire to commit violent Jihad," the Justice Department said.
"The highest priority of the FBI and the Department of Justice remains the prevention of another terrorist attack within the United States," said James Jacks, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
"The identification and apprehension of this defendant, who was acting alone, is a sobering reminder that there are people among us who want to do us grave harm," he added in a statement.
Officials stressed however that Smadi's arrest was unrelated to an ongoing investigation in Colorado and New York involving an Afghan-born airport worker accused of plotting a bombing campaign.
The Justice Department statement said Smadi had declared his willingness to serve as a "soldier for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda" and to conduct Jihad.
He is alleged to have told undercover FBI agents posing as members of an Al Qaeda sleeper cell that he had come to the United States specifically to commit "Jihad for the sake of God."
Smadi has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.