By Jim Kouri
Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain, a U.S. citizen from Baltimore, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to use of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against a U.S. Armed Services recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland, according to a Department of Justice report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The 22-year old Martinez was arrested on December 8, 2010, after he attempted to detonate what he thought were real explosives at the armed forces recruiting station.
“This is an example of another successful prosecution that resulted from outstanding partnerships between the Muslim community and law enforcement,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely.
“As the threat from homegrown violent extremists remains high, the FBI and our police partners rely on a two way flow of information with the Muslim community at large. Together we are working to stop those that have perverted the Islamic faith into something it is not,” McFeeley added.
According to his plea agreement, on October 22, 2010, Martinez raised the subject of attacking military targets with an FBI confidential source (CS). During the recorded conversations that followed between Martinez, the CS and later, an FBI undercover agent, Martinez identified his target — an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville — and spoke about his anger toward America, his belief that Muslims were being unjustly targeted and killed by the American military and his desire to commit jihad to send a message that American soldiers would be killed unless the country stopped its “war” against Islam.
Martinez attempted to recruit a number of people to join in the operation, including an individual whom he said had the ability to obtain weapons. All of them declined, and one of them expressly attempted to dissuade Martinez from committing jihad. Thereafter, Martinez agreed to meet the source’s “Afghani brother,” an undercover FBI agent (UC), whom the CS represented would be interested in assisting in the operation, according to an FBI report.
In a telephone conversation with a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), the Law Enforcement Examiner learned that Martinez articulated his radical Islamic beliefs in postings on the Internet and in two Facebook “Internet chats” he had with the FBI’s confidential source.
According to the Martinez plea agreement, the “lone wolf” terror suspect first met the UC on November 16, 2010, and advised the UC that he wanted jihadist activities to be his “profession.” Throughout the course of the investigation, Martinez repeatedly expressed his desire to go forward with the attack on the recruiting station.
Martinez admitted that on December 8, 2010, he met the CS to drive to a public parking lot near the recruiting center. On the way, Martinez had the CS videotape him on a camcorder and announced that he would continue to fight against the oppressors until those who waged war with Islam stopped their actions.
Martinez subsequently attempted to detonate an explosive device at the armed forces recruiting station. Martinez admitted that the bomb was intended to kill military service members who worked in the building. As set forth in court documents, agents investigating Martinez ensured that the bomb was inert and no danger was presented to the public.
If the presiding judge accepts the plea deal, Martinez will be sentenced to 25 years in federal prison, which the government and the defendant have agreed is the appropriate disposition of the case. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz then scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2012.
“While I have consistently stated the overwhelming majority of Muslim-Americans are outstanding people, the reality is that radicalization within the Muslim-American community by al-Qaeda and its affiliates is a real threat to the security of our homeland. The Obama Administration recognizes this,” said Rep. Peter King (R -NY), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
King held hearings last year in order to explore the allegations of rampant radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. by Imams in the United States and overseas through the Internet web sites.
King held the hearings in 2011 in order to explore the allegations of rampant radicalization of Muslim-Americans within the U.S. by Imams in the United States and overseas through the Internet web sites.