FBI: Man threatened July 4 attack at parade in Cleveland
CLEVELAND (AP) — Federal authorities say they’ve arrested a man who talked about setting off a bomb at a Fourth of July parade in Cleveland and attacking people watching fireworks.
Officials said Monday that the man who’s an American citizen often expressed his support for al-Qaida and said he wanted to kill members of the U.S. military.
Authorities have charged Demetrius Pitts with attempted support of a terrorist organization. There are no court records listing an attorney for Pitts, who lives in the Cleveland area and was arrested Sunday.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony says Pitts scouted out locations this past week for a site to attack in downtown Cleveland.
According to a report in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Pitts told an undercover agent: “I did tell myself that their holiday is coming up. The Fourth of July. Independence Day. What would hit them in the core? Blow up. Have a bomb. Blow up at the Fourth of July parade.”
He also told the agent he wanted to kill military personnel and their families and wanted to conduct a future attack in Philadelphia, a place he previously lived, federal officials said.
Anthony says it’s not clear how close Pitts was to carrying out his threats, but he says authorities couldn’t sit back and wait.