Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting Terrorist Attack on White House


A Georgia man pleaded guilty Wednesday to planning a terrorist attack on the White House using weapons and explosives.

Hasher Jallal Taheb, 23, was arrested on Jan. 16, 2019, following a year-long undercover investigation stemming from a community member’s concerns he had become “radicalized” in March 2018, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia.

“This plea is the result of a more than year-long intensive investigation by FBI Atlanta’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was because of a tip from the community,” Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said.

U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak also acknowledged the importance of the concerns from community members.

“Taheb hatched a dangerous plan that would have resulted in unimaginable injury,” Pak said.

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“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.”

During the undercover operation, federal investigators learned in October 2018 that Taheb planned to travel overseas and had applied for a passport in July of that year.

Taheb had also begun planning domestic attacks targeting the White House and the Statue of Liberty to engage in “jihad.”

He later expanded his list of targets to include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Taheb at a pre-arranged meeting where the suspect expected to obtain semi-automatic weapons, explosive devices and an anti-tank weapon to carry out his attacks.

“Taheb planned to conduct a terrorist attack on the White House as part of what he claimed was his obligation to engage in jihad,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers.

“Thanks to a tip from a member of the community and the work of the agents, analysts, and prosecutors responsible for this case, the threat posed by the defendant was neutralized and the defendant has admitted his guilt and will now be held accountable for his crime.”

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As part of his plea deal, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 15 years, NBC News reported.

His sentencing is currently scheduled for June 23 at 9:30 a.m.

At the time of his arrest, investigators believed Taheb was working on his own.

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force is still investigating the case.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith