On Monday, federal authorities charged a Maryland man who had stolen a truck and planned to use it in a terrorist attack. Prosecutors say the man was inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS).
Rondell Henry, a 28-year-old man from Germantown, Md., allegedly stole a U-Haul truck and planned to drive over pedestrians in National Harbor.
“He said he wanted to carry out a Nice-style attack,” a law enforcement official told NBC News . The official was referring to a 2016 ISIS-claimed terror truck attack that killed 86 people in Nice, France.
“I was just going to keep driving and driving and driving. I wasn’t going to stop,” Henry told the FBI, according to charging papers filed Monday.
Authorities found an “image of gun-wielding ISIS fighters, the ISIS flag, and the Pulse nightclub shooter” who killed 49 people at the Orlando nightclub in 2016, ABC News reported.
The Justice Department said Henry harbored “hatred” for non-Muslims.
BREAKING: Federal authorities have charged 28yo Rondell Henry of Germantown, Md., alleging he stole a UHaul van and planned to use it to run over a large group of people at National Harbor.
“He harbored hatred for those who do not practice the Muslim faith,” authorities say. pic.twitter.com/n9qScYnpqX
— Kevin Lewis (@ABC7Kevin) April 8, 2019
“He was a computer engineer by trade, and knew nothing of explosives or firearms. But he knew how to drive, and he also knew of the terrorist truck attack in Nice, France,” federal prosecutors wrote in court documents. “So the defendant decided to use what was readily at his disposal and conduct a vehicular attack on a crowd of innocents.”
Two weeks ago, police in Arlington, Va., were notified that a leased U-Haul had been stolen from a mall parking garage. Henry left his BMW at the garage when he allegedly stole the U-Haul, tipping off police. The next day, the U-Haul was located at National Harbor, and Henry was arrested hours later.
“He had no escape plan, intending to die while killing others for his cause,” authorities said.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.