Man pleads guilty to planning attack on US Capitol

2016-08-02 21:43
The US Capitol building at dusk in Washington. (Evan Vucci, AP)

The US Capitol building at dusk in Washington. (Evan Vucci, AP)

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Chicago - A man in the US state of Ohio pleaded guilty to charges that he planned to attack the US Capitol during a speech by President Barack Obama last year.

Christopher Lee Cornell, a 22-year-old from the Cincinnati area, pleaded guilty to "terrorism charges," the Justice Department said in a statement.

Cornell admitted to attempting to kill government employees, possession of a firearm to commit a violent crime and attempting to "provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation," it said.

According to the plea agreement, he said that from about August 2014 through January 2015 he had schemed to travel to Washington in order to attack the US Capitol during Obama's State of the Union Address on January 20 2015.

Cornell had amassed two semi-automatic rifles, approximately 600 rounds of ammunition, and had researched how to make bombs. He was arrested on January 14 2015.

"The defendant admitted that his planned attack on the US Capitol was an attempt to provide material support and resources - both personnel and services - to the Islamic State," the department said.
"After his arrest, he posted statements online that included a call for others to join him in violent jihad against the United States and its citizens," according to his admissions in the plea agreement.

Cornell faces as much as 40 years in prison on the charges.

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