Missouri man pleads guilty to role in plotting ISIS attack

Fox News 1 month ago
Fox News Flash top headlines for Sept. 24 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

A Missouri man pleaded guilty on Monday to attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State (ISIS), the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., 28, was arrested in February 2017. Prosecutors have said that he reached out to undercover FBI agents who were posing as ISIS operatives to say he was willing to help with an attack.

This 2016 image shows Robert Hester Jr. following his arrest in Columbia, Mo., in an unrelated case. (Boone County Sheriff's Department)
This 2016 image shows Robert Hester Jr. following his arrest in Columbia, Mo., in an unrelated case. (Boone County Sheriff's Department)

He was told the attack would target "buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City" on Presidents Day, according to the affidavit.

Hester expressed interest in helping ISIS from October 2016 to February 2017, authorities say, and his guilty plea is his admission of wanting to provide support to the terror organization.

The government said it intends to recommend a 20-year sentence in federal prison under terms of a plea deal, but Hester will receive no less than 15 years.

Authorities say Hester told undercover law enforcement officers, whom he thought were ISIS members, that he was ready and willing to participate in a "plot" involving mass casualties. He expressed increased interest in committing violence and supporting the terror group as his contact with the undercover agents continued, the Justice Department said.

Multiple sources had reported to the FBI that Hester posted content online that "indicated that he had converted to Islam, expressed animus toward the United States, and posted photos of weapons and the ISIS flag, among other material, suggesting an adherence to radical Islamic ideology and a propensity for violence," according to the plea agreement.

In conversations with undercover officers, Hester said the U.S. government should be overthrown, and he also suggested "hitting [it] hard," the Justice Department said. Hester also indicated he wanted a "global jihad."

He told agents that possible targets for an attack could include "oil production" locations, "military bases," "federal places," "government officials" and "Wall Street," according to DOJ.

"Any government building in D.C. would get attention of everyone," Hester told undercover agents, the department said.

Hester also touted familiarity with "assault weapons" and said he favored the AK-47, citing his enlistment in the Army for less than a year, the Justice Department said. He received a general discharge in 2013 for violating Army regulations, The Kansas City Star reported.

Hester's sentencing will take place after the U.S. Probation Office conducts a pre-sentence investigation.

Fox News' Samuel Chamberlain contributed to this report.


Source link
Read also:
ABC News › Automobile › 1 month ago
A Missouri man charged with plotting a terrorist attack on buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City pleaded guilty to one count
The New York Times › 2 weeks ago
An Ohio man accused of plotting a July 4 bomb attack in Cleveland last year pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal charge of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, U.S. law enforcement officials said.
Fox News › Incident › 2 weeks ago
A man who wore body armor and carried a loaded weapon into a Walmart in Missouri over the summer to test the Second Amendment pleaded guilty Friday to making a false report.
New York Post › 2 weeks ago
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A man who caused panic at a Missouri Walmart when he walked inside wearing body armor and carrying loaded weapons in what he described as an effort to test his right to bear arms pleaded guilty to making a false report Friday after...
Washington Times › 3 weeks ago
The former chief executive of a small north-central Missouri hospital pleaded guilty to participating in a billing scheme that caused more than $100 million losses.
The Hill › 2 weeks ago
An Ohio man pleaded guilty Tuesday to crimes related to his plot to launch a terrorist attack on a July 4 event in Cleveland last year.Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, 50, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material...
CNN › Politics › 1 month ago
A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting a domestic terror attack pleaded guilty Thursday to four counts of weapons and drug charges.
Sputnik International › 2 weeks ago
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A US citizen has entered a guilty plea over plans to blow up an Independence Day parade in the city of Cleveland as part of a plot to support the al-Qaeda terror group, the Justice Department announced in a press release.
Daily Mail Online › 1 week ago
A 27-year-old man has been arrested in east London on Tuesday on suspicion of plotting a terror attack, the Metropolitan Police said.
Fox News › 6 days ago
A Missouri man who came to the U.S. from Bosnia was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison for supporting terrorists, including an ISIS leader in Syria.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR