A Baltimore man was arrested by the FBI this morning in connection with what the feds say was a plot to attack an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Md., with what the suspect thought was a car bomb.
“There was no actual danger to the public as the explosives were inert and the suspect had been carefully monitored by law enforcement for months,” Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd told TPM in a statement. “There is no evidence this individual is tied to the recent shootings at military recruiting centers in the Washington, D.C. metro area.”
Boyd said the Justice Department would “provide additional information as soon as appropriate.” An initial court appearance is scheduled in U.S. District Court in Baltimore at 2 p.m., Boyd said.
Pete Williams of NBC News reported that the suspect is Antonio Martinez. TBD reported that Martinez went by the name of Muhammed Hussain.
Martinez is a Muslim convert angry with the military for what he said was a war on Muslims, according to law enforcement sources cited by TBD.
Martinez “was practically begging to be noticed,” Williams reported, citing law enforcement sources. “He — several times, at least three times, approached people trying to get guns, asking them to help him in violent jihad. He posted videos on YouTube and that is what got the FBI onto him.”
An undercover agent approached Martinez and the FBI kept him under close surveillance for about two months, Williams reported. The FBI helped him construct what he thought was a bomb, which turned out to be an inert device, Williams said.
The FBI’s Baltimore office and the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A voicemail box at the recruitment station was full.
FBI agents recently arrested a 19-year-old Somali-born teen after he dialed a cell phone he thought would set off a bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon. Officials are investigating arson at mosque where that man worshipped.