US citizen pleads guilty to plotting for terror attack in Cleveland

WASHINGTON, A man from Ohio has pleaded guilty to crimes related to his plot to launch a terrorist attack in Cleveland on Independence Day, the US Department of Justice announced.

Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts, 50, pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, threats against the President of the United States and threats against family members of the President of the United States, the DoJ said in a press statement Tuesday.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, between 2015 and 2017, Pitts expressed anti-American sentiments and expressed a desire to recruit people to kill Americans.

The defendant expressed a desire to meet with an al Qaeda “brother” and in June he was introduced to an FBI employee acting in an undercover capacity who Pitts believed was such a “brother.” Pitts and the UCE met in Walton Hills, Ohio, in 2018, where they discussed launching an attack for al Qaeda during the July 4th holiday.

Pitts said: “I’m trying to figure out something that would shake them up on the 4th of July.” He later stated: “What would hit them at their core? have a bomb blow up in the 4th of July parade.” A search of the phone that Pitts provided revealed that he made two videos in which he pledged allegiance.

Pitts also pleaded guilty today to threatening to kill the President of the United States and his immediate family members, namely his daughter and son-in-law.

Pitts is scheduled to be sentenced on February 11, 2020. Under the terms of his guilty plea, Pitts is likely to be sentenced to 14 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Source: Kuwait News Agency