An Army veteran in Missouri was charged with trying to arm a man he thought was a member of ISIS to carry out a bombing in the U.S.
Robert Hester, 25, was arrested last week. His arrest was made public Tuesday. He is a U.S. citizen born in Missouri who served in the Army for less than a year. The FBI first discovered his support for ISIS after he was under electronic monitoring for an unrelated arrest. An undercover agent discovered he promoted radical Islamic ideology on social media, according to a Department of Justice release.
This is one of Hester's social media aliases, according to the release.
That agent kept in touch with Hester for months. Hester told him he believed the U.S. government should be overthrown and called for a "global jihad." In November, he made arrangements with the undercover agent to meet with "one of the brothers" in person. That "brother" was also an undercover agent.
The agent then gave Hester a list of items to buy to build bombs, including nine-volt batteries, duct tape, copper wire and nails.
[It's] going to bring them to their knees ... and then they gonna know to fear Allah. I can't wait. I can't wait.
On Feb. 1, Hester and the agent met in person. The agent showed three rifles and two handguns and said he needed ammunition. Hester said he could not buy ammo until his tax refund arrived and he got his paycheck. He also saw mock pipe bombs and was told they were real.
Countering terrorist threats remains the highest priority of the National Security Division.
Throughout the month of February, Hester was told a "party" would take place on President's Day, targeting a Kansas City train station and buses. He said it felt "good to strike back at the true terrorist" On Feb. 17th, after delivering more nails to an agent, he was arrested.
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