A man accused of plotting an attack at the U.S. Capitol said in an interview with an Ohio television station if he hadn’t been arrested he would have gone to Washington and shot President Obama in the head.
Christopher Lee Cornell called into WXIX-TV in Cincinnati from a Kentucky jail and confessed to being a supporter of the Islamic State terror group and said he planned to kill government officials in retaliation for U.S. strikes on ISIS.
The station aired part of the interview Friday night, hours after Cornell’s attorney argued unsuccessfully in court that it could violate the defendant’s right to a fair trial.
Cornell, asked by the interviewer what he would have done had he not been arrested in January, said he would have taken one of his guns, “I would have put it to Obama’s head, I would have pulled the trigger, then I would unleash more bullets on the Senate and House of Representative members, and I would have attacked the Israeli embassy and various other buildings.”
Corner repeatedly identified himself as a Muslim in the interview. He said he wanted to carry out the attacks because of “the continued American aggression against our people and the fact that America, specifically President Obama, wants to wage war against Islamic State.”
“They might say I’m a terrorist, but you know we see American troops as terrorists as well, coming to our land, stealing our resources and killing our people, raping our women.”
Cornell said that supporters of the group are in Ohio and are in every state.
“We’re more organized than you think,” he said.
A federal indictment charges Cornell with attempted murder of government employees and officials and solicitation to commit a crime of violence. Both charges carry possible sentences up to 20 years upon conviction.
Cornell was arrested outside a gun shop near his home on Jan. 14 after the FBI said he bought two M-15 assault weapons and 600 rounds of ammunition. The FBI said in court documents that Cornell planned to “wage jihad” by attacking the Capitol with pipe bombs and shooting government officials and employees.
Cornell was coerced and misled by “a snitch” trying to better his own legal situation, his father said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report