The Crime Scene - To Serve and Inform

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 5:09 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Md. man indicted in bomb plot

By Maria Glod

A Baltimore man accused of plotting to blow up a military recruiting station in Maryland was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of attempted murder of federal officers and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Antonio Martinez, 21, who recently converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Hussain, is accused of trying to kill members of the military whom he saw as a threat to Muslims.

The FBI learned of Martinez's intentions through an informant, joined the plot, and supplied him with a fake car bomb that he tried to detonate earlier this month outside a recruiting center in Catonsville, authorities said.

The case is one in a recent series in which federal authorities have used informants or undercover agents to monitor extremists, secretly befriend those suspected of plotting terror attacks and, in some cases, even to provide the means to carry them out.

The FBI's tactic has been criticized by some Muslims, who accuse government agents of trying to entrap members of their community. Legal experts say that the strategy can be effective in securing more serious charges and that if the accused intended to carry out an attack and wasn't persuaded by the government, it is not entrapment.

Defense attorney JosephBalter on Tuesday said Martinez intends to plead not guilty and "vigorously contest the charges."

In earlier court hearings, Balter has said there is a 'very legitimate issue as to whether the government entrapped' Martinez.

Balter has said his client was "incapable" of carrying out the plot on his own and failed when he tried to get others to join him.

Prosecutors have said that it was Martinez's idea to target the recruiting center and that he brought up the idea of using a bomb. They said he was given several chances to back out, but decided to go forward.

Martinez, a former Prince George's County public schools student, didn't work with any outside terrorist group, authorities said. Authorities said he expressed his radical leanings on Facebook, declaring he hates "Any 1 who opposes Allah."

A video secretly taken the day of the planned Dec. 8 attack shows Martinez grinning and saying "Allahu Akbar" -- Arabic for "God is great" -- as he prepared to detonate what he thought was a powerful bomb at the Armed Forces Career Center, prosecutors said.

After his arrest he told federal authorities he was "doing it for the right cause," prosecutors said.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

By Maria Glod  | December 21, 2010; 5:09 PM ET
Categories:  Baltimore, From the Courthouse, Maria Glod, Maryland, Updates  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Death in DC9 case ruled a homicide
Next: Students to hospital after drug overdose

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company