Daesh sympathiser charged in suicide car bomb plot at US army base

Published April 12th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

A man from the US state of Kansas has been arrested and charged with plotting a suicide car bombing at a US Army base on behalf of the ISIL terrorist group (Daesh), according to federal prosecutors.

John T. Booker, Jr., 20, of Topeka, Kansas was arrested on Friday by FBI agents during a sting operation near the Fort Riley Army installation located in north central Kansas, the US Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom said.

"Anyone who seeks to harm this nation and its people will be brought to justice," Grissom told reporters at a news conference in Kansas City.

"It is alleged that he planned to pull the trigger of the explosives himself so that he would die in the explosion," Grissom said, adding that his "number one aspiration" was to be a suicide bomber.

Booker was charged with three criminal counts including attempting to provide material support to ISIL terrorists, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to destroy property.

The complaint alleges Booker told another person "that detonating a suicide bomb is his number one aspiration because he couldn't be captured, all evidence would be destroyed, and he would be guaranteed to hit his target."

Booker picked Fort Riley as a good target, "because the post is famous and there are a lot of soldiers stationed there," the complaint alleges. Fort Riley, home to the 1st Infantry Division, is located about 100 miles (160 km) west of Kansas City.

In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch questioned counterterrorism sting operations that involve US law enforcement agencies "effectively participating in developing terrorism plots."

Booker’s arrest came two days after the arrest of another American man from Wisconsin accused of traveling to Turkey in hopes of fighting for ISIL in Syria or Iraq.

It also came eight days after the arrest in New York of two women with ties to ISIL who were allegedly planning to carry out a "terrorist attack" in the United States.

Last month, US Air Force veteran Tairod Pugh was charged with attempting to join and aid ISIL terrorists in Syria.

US officials have warned the public and law enforcement agencies across the country about young Americans wanting to join the ISIL Takfiris in Iraq and Syria.

The ISIL terrorists, many of whom were initially trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.


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