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Feds: Man Walked Off Job Intending to Carry Out Attack

Rondell Henry is accused of plotting ISIS-style attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2019 3:39 AM CDT
Construction crews put the finishing touches on the "Capital Wheel" at National Harbor, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Oxon Hill, Md.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – A Maryland man inspired by ISIS walked off his job in the middle of the day last month intending to carry out a terrorist attack, federal prosecutors say—and if he had been more organized, the death toll could have been horrific. Rondell Henry, a 28-year-old computer engineer, allegedly planned to run down pedestrians at the National Harbor tourist destination near Washington, DC, the New York Times reports. Prosecutors say Henry said he wanted to cause "panic and chaos" similar to the Bastille Day truck attack that killed 86 people in Nice, France in 2016. "I was just going to keep driving and driving and driving. I wasn't going to stop," he told authorities after his arrest, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say Henry left his job on March 26 and stole a U-Haul truck at a Virginia mall after determining his BMW "would not cause the catastrophic damage that he desired," the AP reports. Early the next day, he drove to Dulles International Airport but could not find a way past security. He then drove to National Harbor, arriving around 10am, but decided the crowds were too thin at the time, court documents state. He hid in a boat overnight and was arrested the next day by police who had found the stolen U-Haul, prosecutors say. A detention motion filed Monday states that Henry hated "disbelievers" and was inspired by ISIS videos he watched online. He has been charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle and prosecutors are expected to seek additional charges. (Read more terrorism stories.)

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