Posted by CotoBlogzz
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - John T. Booker Jr., 21, of Topeka, Kansas, pleaded guilty today to attempting to detonate a vehicle bomb on the Fort Riley military base in Manhattan, Kansas, according to Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom of the District of Kansas.
“John Booker admitted that he intended to kill U.S. military personnel on American soil in the name of ISIS,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “Thankfully, law enforcement was able to safely identify and disrupt this threat to the country. “If this defendant succeeded, American soldiers
would have died,” said U.S. Attorney Grissom.
In his guilty plea, he intended to kill American soldiers and to ISIS’s fight against the United States. His plan called for constructing a bomb containing 1,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate. Booker intended to trigger the bomb himself and die in the process, and filmed a video he intended Americans to see after his death.
“You sit in your homes and think this war is just over in Iraq,” he said in the video. “Today we will bring the Islamic State straight to your doorstep.”
Unbeknownst to Booker, the bomb that he constructed was made with inert materials, and the two men working with him were undercover informants for the FBI.
The FBI began investigating Booker in March 2014 after he posted on his Facebook page that he wanted to commit jihad. Booker admitted that he tried to enlist in the U.S. Army in order to commit an insider attack against American soldiers like the one at Fort Hood in Texas, but his deadly plans were thwarted when he was denied entry into the Army. In October 2014, Booker began communicating with an undercover FBI informant. He told the undercover FBI informant that he dreamed of being a fighter in the Middle East, and proposed capturing and killing an American soldier.
In March 2015, Booker was introduced to another FBI informant who he believed would help him plan an attack. Booker said he wanted to detonate a suicide bomb because he couldn’t be captured, all the evidence would be destroyed, and he would be guaranteed to hit his target. On March 10, 2015, Booker made a video filmed at Freedom Park near Marshall Army Airfield at Fort Riley in which he pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of ISIL. That month, he rented a storage unit in Topeka where the bomb would be assembled.
On April 10, 2015, Booker and the informants drove to an area near Fort Riley that Booker believed to be a little-used utility gate where they could enter Fort Riley undetected. He was arrested when he made the final connections on the device that he believed would arm the bomb.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi and David Smith of the District of Kansas, and Trial Attorneys Josh Parecki and Rebecca Magnone of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.