MD Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction

Man expressed militant beliefs on Facebook: prosecutor

Thursday, Jan 26, 2012  |  Updated 10:42 AM EDT
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Guilty Plea to Attempted Use of Weapon of Mass Destruction

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A Maryland man accused of sharing his plan to blow up an Armed Forces recruiting station with an FBI agent agreed to a plea deal on Thursday.

Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain, 22, agreed to plead guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property.

Prosecutors said Martinez brought up the idea of attacking the recruiting station in October of 2010, with a confidential FBI source.  The government said that he tried to recruit others to join the plot unsuccessfully before being put in touch with an undercover FBI agent he believed to be an "Afghani brother."

Investigators said Martinez engaged in surveillance of the recruiting center before placing an explosive device there in December, all while being monitored by the FBI.  Law enforcement said they insured the device was not dangerous.

According to prosecutors, Martinez admitted to trying to blow the bomb up in an effort to kill service members.  He allegedly expressed his militant beliefs in public Facebook posts, and in online chats with a covert FBI agent.

In the deal, the U.S. Attorney agreed to a 25 year sentence for Martinez.  A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 6.

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