The Cleveland Division of the FBI announced the arrest of Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, also known Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq, charged with attempting to support a foreign terrorist organization for planning an attack on July 4 in downtown Cleveland, according to the FBI.
Pitts is charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He was arrested Sunday by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, KSHB reports.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony said the FBI originally in 2017 learned of statements Pitts made supporting Al Qaeda and regarding violent intentions against the armed forces while he lived in the Cincinnati area.
Pitts moved to Cleveland in May, and authorities continued investigating his claims.
Anthony said just last week, Pitts met with an undercover agent and made statements similar to “what would hit them in their core? Blow up at the Fourth of July parade.”
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said during his conversations with undercover agents, Pitts said he planned to use a van packed with explosives, wanting to target people watching fireworks and the downtown parade. ~ Fox 8 Cleveland
Authorities say Pitts talked about hitting targets such as St. John’s Cathedral and giving remote control cars packed with explosives to the children of military members.
On Sunday during his final meeting with the undercover agent, authorities said Pitts expressed allegiance to al-Qaida and discussed his desire to kill military personnel and their families. He also allegedly wanted to conduct a future attack in Philadelphia, a place he previously lived.
— Alyson Bruner (@AlysonBruner) July 2, 2018
Targeting our children with toys filled with explosives and planning a van full of explosives at a 4th of July Parade.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.