Cleveland July 4th Terror Plot Foiled

The FBI announced that they arrested a man who was planning a terrorist attack during a Fourth of July parade in Cleveland. Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, who is also known as Abdur Raheem Rafeeq, told an undercover agent before his arrest that he had pledged his allegiance to al-Qaida and wanted to kill members of the military and their families. 

Authorities combed his Facebook page and found "disturbing" posts that called on Muslims to "start training."

“His Facebook posts were, quite frankly, disturbing,” said Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland FBI, during a press conference. “They included words to the effect that ‘we as Muslims need to start training like this every day. We need to know how to shoot guns, throw hand grenades, and hand-to-hand combat.”

Pitts was also seen doing reconnaissance around the parade route to find a good place to park a truck full of explosives. 

He had been under FBI investigation since 2017, while he was living in Cincinnati. When he moved to Cleveland in May, the investigation was picked up by the local FBI office. 

Pitts is facing charges of attempted material support of a foreign terrorist organization. He has an extensive criminal history and is a United States citizen. 

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