WASHINGTON – An American who was allegedly plotting a suicide car-bomb attack at a Kansas military base in support of the Islamic State jihadist group was arrested on Friday while preparing the explosive.
John T. Booker, Jr., a 20-year-old from Topeka, Kansas, has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempting to damage property by means of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Justice Department said in news release.
Booker was due to make an initial appearance Friday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree in Topeka, Kansas.
FBI agents arrested the suspect Friday near the small city of Manhattan, Kansas, and discovered that the bomb was inert, the Justice Department said.
Booker was detained “as he completed his final preparations to detonate a vehicle bomb targeting U.S. military personnel,” it added.
The criminal complaint, unsealed Friday, alleges that Booker told another person “that detonating a suicide bomb is his number one aspiration because he couldn’t be captured, all evidence would be destroyed, and he would be guaranteed to hit his target.”
Booker chose the Fort Riley military base near Manhattan, Kansas, because “the post is famous and there are a lot of soldiers stationed there,” the complaint alleges.
The defendant would face a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted, the news release said.