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al-Qaeda sympathiser pleads guilty to bomb plot

AFP  |  Washington 

An Al-Qaeda sympathiser has pleaded guilty to plotting a bomb attack on an Independence Day parade in Cleveland, Ohio, the Justice Department said.

Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, 50, who also used the name Abdur Raheem Rafeeq, also pleaded guilty on Tuesday to making threats against President Donald Trump and his family, the department said in a statement.

According to the FBI, Pitts drew the attention of the authorities through a series of "disturbing" Facebook posts in which he expressed a desire to kill US servicemen and their families.

The Justice Department said Pitts had been in contact with a man he believed to be an Al-Qaeda "brother" but who was actually an undercover FBI informant.

At a 2018 meeting, they discussed a plot to detonate a truck bomb during a July 4th parade, it said.

"I'm trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the 4th of July," Pitts was quoted as saying. "What would hit them at their core? "Have a bomb blow up in the 4th of July parade." The Justice Department said Pitts would be sentenced on February 11, 2020 and was likely to be sentenced to 14 years in prison.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 06 2019. 02:45 IST