The FBI announced in a press conference on Monday, the arrest and charge of Demetrius Pitts, also known as Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq, for attempting to carry out a terrorist attack at the Fourth of July parade in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Rahfeeq was charged with “attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization,” the FBI said. He was caught by an undercover FBI agent whom Rahfeeq believed was a fellow Al-Qaeda member.
FBI special agent Steve Anthony said during the press conference, “Just last week, during an in person meeting with our undercover agent, Pitts suggested words to the effect: 'I did tell myself that their holiday is coming… What would hit them in the core? Blow up, have a bomb. Blow up at Fourth of July parade.’”
United States attorney Justin Herdman said Pitts wanted to “strike at the values that are at the core of this nation” and that was his motive for the attack on the most patriotic day of the year.
Herdman also said “Just yesterday, he discussed giving remote control cars packed with explosives and shrapnel to the children of our military uniform members. When asked about the carnage this would cause, Pitts said ‘I don't care’ and ‘I have no regrets.’"
People from all across the country had mixed reactions to the news of the thwarted terror plot on Twitter.
Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts. Home grown American. No wall or travel ban stopped him.— sherrill vaughan (@shenava22) July 2, 2018
This animal (sorry, that is an insult to animals), this monster, Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts changed his name to Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq, wanted to give remote control cars packed with explosives to blow up children!— Sheila Plattner (@SheilaPlattner) July 2, 2018
According to Newsweek, Rahfeeq had a criminal record including assault, domestic violence, aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon charges.
A local reporter also reported that Rahfeeq was planning another attack in Philadelphia and that “he wanted to kill members of the military and their families, as well as federal and local agents.”