An alleged sympathizer of the Islamic State terror group was arrested in Ohio on Wednesday after authorities learned that he was plotting a shooting and bombing attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Christopher Lee Cornell, 20, of Green Township, considered members of Congress as “enemies,” and planned to travel to Washington to kill employees and officers working in and around the U.S. Capitol, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities said he had two semi-automatic rifles and about 600 rounds of ammunition, and planned to build and detonate pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol.
A Justice Department official, however, told Fox News that Cornell was “aspirational and not operational,” adding that the public was never in danger.
The investigation relied heavily on the use of a source, who the criminal complaint said began cooperating with authorities last fall to gain favorable treatment for his prosecution on an unrelated case.
The complaint adds that Cornell said he thought he was fulfilling the directives of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, or ISIL.
“I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan attacks and everything,” Cornell told the source, according to the papers. “I believe we should meet up and make our own group in alliance with the Islamic State and plan operations ourselves.”
Cornell was charged with the attempted killing of a U.S. government officer and possession of a firearm in furtherance of attempted crime of violence.
Along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cincinnati Police Department, Colerain Police Department, Green Township Police Department and the U.S. Capitol Police were involved in the investigation.