Hasher Jallal Taheb, the 23-year-old Forsyth County resident who allegedly plotted an explosive terrorist attack on the White House, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempting to destroy, by fire or an explosive, a building owned by or leased to the United States.
Taheb is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23 before U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen.
Taheb was arrested on Jan. 16, 2019, during a meeting with undercover FBI special agents at a store in Buford where he expected to obtain semi-automatic assault rifles, explosive devices and an anti-tank weapon.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung “BJ” Pak, a member of the metro Atlanta area first reported concerns that Taheb, who graduated from Forsyth Central High School in 2015, had become “radicalized” and planned to travel abroad to a local law enforcement agency in March of 2018.
A subsequent FBI undercover operation allegedly found that Taheb had applied for a U.S. passport three months later, in June 2018, and that he wanted to participate in “jihad” by attacking prominent U.S. monuments, first the White House and Statue of Liberty and later others in the Washington D.C. area, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue.
Undercover FBI special agents allegedly met with Taheb in January 2019, where he produced sketches of the White House and described the types of weapons he planned to use in the attacks, including semi-automatic weapons, improvised explosive devices, an anti-tank weapon and hand grenades.
“Taheb hatched a dangerous plan that would have resulted in unimaginable injury,” Pak said in a statement. “We are grateful to community members who noticed his dangerous evolution and alerted law enforcement. Along with our federal, state and local partners, we will remain vigilant in order to disrupt these types of attacks before they happen.”
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Gwinnett County Police Department, assisted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is investigating the case.