Alleged Capitol Plotter: 'His Best Friend Is His Kitty'
Christopher Lee Cornell's dad says 'no way' son could have carried out terror plot
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2015 7:53 AM CST
This Wednesday Jan. 14, 2015 photo made available by the Butler County Jail shows Christopher Lee Cornell.   (AP Photo/Butler County Jail)

(Newser) – A 20-year-old Ohio man arrested yesterday stands accused of plotting to attack the US Capitol with pipe bombs and gunfire. As reported last night, Christopher Lee Cornell was undone by an FBI sting (an undercover operative connected with him after Cornell allegedly posted pro-terror-attack tweets). New details as of this morning, per CNN and USA Today:

  • The alleged plan involved using pipe bombs to force those in the US Capitol to flee; Cornell and his partner were to be armed with assault rifles that would be used to take down officials and employees as they exited the building.
  • The CEO of Cincinnati's Point Blank Range & Gun Shop says the FBI approached him about assisting them, and that store employees sold Cornell two "sporting rifles" and 600 rounds of ammunition yesterday at 11am. Cornell was arrested upon leaving the store.

  • Cornell's "partner," the FBI informant, is described by CNN as "a man in trouble with the law who worked with the agency to improve his legal standing." The two met in person over two two-day periods in Cincinnati, in October and November. The attacks were to be carried out in support of ISIS, says the informant.
  • Cornell's dad isn't buying the gun purchase story, noting that his son was an unemployed seasonal worker who "had $1,287 saved up. These guns cost over $1,700." In his view, the FBI may have provided him with the extra funds. (He does note that his son recently moved out of his house and in with a friend who was going to give him some work.)
  • How dad describes Cornell: "He's a big mama's boy, you know. His best friend is his kitty cat. There's no way he could have carried out any kind of terrorist plot. He didn't even drive; he didn't have a car."