Washington, Dec 9(ANI): A 21-year-old American construction worker was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of an undercover sting operation when he tried to detonate what he thought was a car bomb at a military recruiting station in Maryland.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Antonio Martinez, a naturalized U.S. citizen also known as Muhammad Hussain, faces charges of attempting to murder federal officials and attempted use of a bomb against government property.
The bomb Martinez is accused of trying to detonate was fake and had been provided by an undercover FBI agents posing as militant Muslims.
According to court documents, Martinez had been on the FBI's radar screen since October, when he told a confidential FBI source that he wanted to attack and kill military personnel.
Investigators said that they thought that Martinez posed a genuine threat and that he came up with the plan by himself.
At one point, according to court files, he told someone identified in the FBI affidavit as a "confidential source": "I wish I knew how to make a car bomb."
He then discussed another option: "If you stuff the exhaust with something, like a sock or something ... the car ... it'll run, but all the toxic fumes will come into the inside of the car, so if they start to drive they will breathe in all those fumes and they gonna like slowly, but surely die in the car."
He added: "Just some ideas, you know what I'm saying."
The 21-year-old appeared in a Baltimore court on Wednesday and was ordered held until a hearing on Monday.
If convicted he faces from 20 years to life in prison.
The case is similar to one in Portland, where the FBI had arrested a 19-year-old Somali-born, when he used a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van.
He intended to bomb a crowded Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, but the people he had been communicating with about the plot were FBI agents. (ANI)