DALLAS, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- A 19-year-old Jordanian man who allegedly wanted to commit "jihad" was charged Thursday with planning to bomb a 60-story building in Dallas, authorities said.
FBI agents moved in after Hosam Maher Hussein Smadi allegedly placed what he believed was a car bomb at the downtown Fountain Place building, and arrested him on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. The bomb was inactive.
The FBI said Smadi was in the country illegally and told agents posing as members of an al-Qaida sleeper cell he had come to the United States to "commit Jihad."
"Today's arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi underscores the FBI's unwavering commitment to bring to justice persons who attempt to bring harm to citizens of this country and significant danger to this community," Robert E. Casey Jr., head of the Dallas FBI office, said in a statement. "Smadi made a decision to act to commit a significant conspicuous act of violence under his banner of 'self Jihad.'"
The FBI said Smadi was living and working in Italy, Texas, about 45 miles from the city.
In an affidavit, FBI agents said Smadi "made clear his intention to serve as a soldier for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida." Undercover agents, posing as members of an al-Qaida "sleeper cell," were introduced to the Smadi, who allegedly told them repeatedly that he had come to the United States to commit "jihad for the sake of God."
He was not associated with other terrorist organizations, the FBI said, but was interested in "self-jihad" against "enemies of Islam."
The affidavits said Smadi had an undercover agent drive him to the glass Fountain Place office tower in July and in August discussed logistics and timing of the bombing. Smadi decided an improvised-explosive device in a vehicle would be used to bomb the building, the FBI said.