Two men were arrested on accusations of plotting ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks including bombings on the White House, the New York Stock Exchange and the Trump Tower.
Plotting a terrorist attack
On September 21, Jaylyn Christopher Molina of San Antonio Texas and 34-year-old Kristopher Sean Matthews from Eglin, South Carolina were arrested by authorities.
The two were separated as Molina is detained in Texas and Matthews was arrested in Tennessee. According to the FBI, they intercepted communications which showed the men planning an attack in the name of the Islamic State, as shown in the court documents obtained by KSAT.
The document also states that Matthews allegedly suggested it would be better to attack government centers instead of crowed public places like malls as there will be innocent children there.
Matthews also allegedly suggested targeting Trump Tower and the New York Stock Exchange, hoping the important sites would give them both a "rock star status" and they thought that a series of attacks across the U.S could be "Netflix worthy."
The two men also allegedly discussed the possibility of traveling overseas to join the terrorist group ISIS. Molina refers to himself as "Abdur Rahim" according to the criminal complaint, while Matthews calls himself "Ali Jibreel."
Both men are now facing a charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to Fox News.
Matthews is accused of being the originator of the plot, and in 2019 he used an encrypted chat service to find an ISIS supporter outside the United States who would help him travel to Syria and recruit additional ISIS supporters.
In April 2020, Molina joined the chat and began communicating with Matthews. He soon posted a manual on how to train with an AK-47. The two allegedly shared ISIS propaganda videos, unaware that they were being tracked online.
Molina wrote on social media that America was hi enemy, according to court documents, and posted an extremely graphic photo collage of an American citizen being murdered by ISIS members.
In May 2020, he allegedly posted images in the encrypted chat that provided bomb-making instructions. That same moth, in the same encrypted chat, the two men discussed where the attack on the United States should take place.
Matthews allegedly said that he wanted to avoid killing innocent children and he preferred attacking sites such as government buildings, including the FBI headquarters, CIA headquarters and DEA headquarters.
Molina also allegedly told Matthews that they need to stick together and they need to "defeat them" and they need to take a lot of casualties.
Last month, Molina and Matthews allegedly said in the encrypted chat that they could use a multi wave attack strategy to carry out the attacks. If the two are convicted, they can face up to 20 years in prison.
Attacking the White House
In 2019, a 21-year-old man from Georgia was arrested for allegedly plotting to bomb the White House, a synagogue and other sites in Washington DC.
According to a report from Buzzfeed, Hasher Taheb from Cumming, Georgia, planned to use improvised explosive devices made of C4 and an anti-tank rocket on January 17, 2019 to cause as much damage as possible. He also had sketches of a White House floor plan.
Taheb was arrested on January 16 by undercover FBI agents.