CINCINNATI – A West Chester man who supports ISIL terrorists planned to kill government officials in a violent attack that included assault rifles, Molotov cocktails and a southern Ohio police station, federal officials say.
Munir Abdulkader, 21, pleaded guilty to attempting to kill officers and employees of the United States, material support of a foreign terrorist organization and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Between July 2014 and May 2015, Abdulkader communicated with members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and expressed support for the group on Twitter, federal officials announced Thursday.
Abdulkader also made plans to travel to Syria to join ISIL, according to officials. He was scheduled to depart May 2, 2015, but expressed concerns about his ability to travel in late April and postponed the trip.
That May, Abdulkader remained in communication with ISIL members. One of them, Junaid Hussein, "directed and encouraged Abdulkader to plan and execute a violent attack within the United States," officials said in a news release (Hussein was killed by a U.S. airstrike last August).
Abdulkader planned to abduct and kill a military employee, and film the execution. He would then "execute a violent attack on a police station in the Southern District of Ohio using firearms and Molotov cocktails," officials said.
In preparation, Abdulkader purchased an ammunition vest, conducted surveillance of a police station, trained and practiced at a shooting range and bought an AK-47 assault rife, officials said.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Abdulkader May 21, 2015 after he purchased the gun.
Abdulkader was charged the next day and pleaded guilt to the three charges on March 24 of this year.
Officials wouldn't say what military employee or what police station Abdulkader planned to attack.
Abdulkader faces a mandatory sentence of five years in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of an attempted crime of violence. He also faces up to 20 years for attempted murder of government employees and officials and another 15 years for material support of a foreign terrorist organization.
Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman for the Southern District of Ohio, Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers of the FBI’s Cincinnati Field Division, West Chester Police Chief Joel Herzog, Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Paul A. Pride and Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac made the announcement about Abdulkader's arrest and guilty plea after the case was unsealed Thursday.
WCPO will update this story.