FBI Stops Plot to Bomb Maryland Recruiting Center

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2010 — A Bal­ti­more man has been arrest­ed and charged in an alleged plot to bomb a mil­i­tary recruit­ing cen­ter in sub­ur­ban Mary­land, fed­er­al offi­cials said.
Anto­nio Mar­tinez, also known as Muham­mad Hus­sain, 21, was charged with attempt­ing to mur­der fed­er­al offi­cers and employ­ees and attempt­ed use of a weapon of mass destruc­tion against fed­er­al prop­er­ty in a scheme to attack an Armed Forces recruit­ing sta­tion in Catonsville, Md., a Bal­ti­more sub­urb, U.S. Dis­trict Attor­ney for Mary­land Rod J. Rosen­stein, and Richard A. McFeely, spe­cial agent in charge of the FBI’s Bal­ti­more divi­sion, said in a joint state­ment.

Mar­tinez was tak­en into cus­tody after he was observed inspect­ing the bomb’s com­po­nents in the back of a vehi­cle just pri­or to his attempt to det­o­nate the device by remote in the recruit­ing center’s park­ing lot, the state­ment said.

The device was inert and was sup­plied to the would-be bomber by an under­cov­er FBI infor­mant, the state­ment said.

Mar­tinez was sched­uled to be advised of the for­mal charges against him at 2 p.m. today in U.S. Dis­trict Court in Bal­ti­more before U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge James K. Bredar for the alleged bomb­ing attempt. Mar­tinez is an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen.

Rosen­stein said the pub­lic was nev­er in harm’s way “because the peo­ple Mr. Mar­tinez asked to help car­ry out his attack actu­al­ly were work­ing with the FBI.” “Every per­son Mr. Mar­tinez asked to join in his scheme either declined to par­tic­i­pate, tried to talk him out of it or report­ed him to the FBI, and there is no evi­dence that Mr. Mar­tinez received direc­tion or sup­port from any oth­er per­son,” Rosen­stein said.

Still, McFeely said the “dan­ger posed by the defen­dant in this case was very real.” The work of the Joint Ter­ror­ism Task Force, which led to the dis­cov­ery of the alleged crime, “showed us Mar­tinez was absolute­ly com­mit­ted to car­ry­ing out an attack which would have cost lives,” McFeely added.

Mar­tinez alleged­ly began plot­ting the bomb­ing with under­cov­er agents in Sep­tem­ber, after author­i­ties were alert­ed to Martinez’s Face­book page, on which he had post­ed a mes­sage that said he hates peo­ple who oppose Allah and his prophet.

Mar­tinez faces a max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 years in prison for attempt­ing to mur­der fed­er­al offi­cers and employ­ees and life in prison for attempt­ed use of a weapon of mass destruc­tion against fed­er­al prop­er­ty, offi­cials said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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