Federal authorities charged a DC-area suspect Monday with a plot to use a stolen truck to run down pedestrians on the National Harbor waterfront, a popular tourist site along the Potomac River near Washington.
“Federal authorities have charged a man they believe was plotting to ram a stolen truck into pedestrians at the National Harbor waterfront development in Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital,” reports ABC News.
Rondell Henry, 28, of Germantown, Maryland, has been charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle, but in court documents, authorities allege a much more sinister intention.
According to authorities, Henry claimed to law enforcement that he was inspired by the Islamic State when he stole a U-Haul van looking to use it as a weapon.
“I was just going to keep driving and driving and driving. I wasn’t going to stop,” he told law enforcement officers after his arrest, according to court documents filed in his case.
On his phone, authorities found “images of gun-wielding ISIS fighters, the ISIS flag, and the Pulse nightclub shooter” who killed 49 people at the Orlando bar three years ago.
Prosecutors say Mr. Henry, a computer engineer, walked off his job on March 26 and then stole a U-Haul truck. He drove the van early on March 27 to Dulles International Airport, where he got out and tried, unsuccessfully, for more than two hours to find a way through security. Mr. Henry then got back in the U-Haul and drove to the National Harbor in Maryland, arriving around 10 a.m., they said.
According to the complaint, Mr. Henry walked around looking for an ideal spot to mimic a 2016 Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, in which a truck barreled through a crowd of spectators, killing more than 80 people.
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