TOLEDO, Ohio – Two large-scale attacks were planned by two people with no connection to each other. That’s what the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed Monday.
Damon Joseph, 21, is accused of plotting an attack on a Toledo synagogue. The FBI says Joseph says he was motivated by the Pittsburgh synagogue attack. He claims allegiance to ISIS. He was busted after buying firearms from undercover agents.
“He selected firearms, firearms that he handpicked because he believed that they would deliver the maximum amount of damage and destruction,” United States Attorney Justin Herdman said.
Elizabeth Lecron, 23, was arrested by the FBI for plotting to make and plant pipe bombs. Federal prosecutors say she was obsessed with mass murderers.
She admired and corresponded with Charleston church shooter Dylan Roof. While she had several targets she was interested in bombing, the first was going to be a pipeline in Georgia.
“On Dec. 8, just two days ago, Lecron purchased two pounds of gunpowder and 600 screws, likely to be used as shrapnel, with knowledge these items would be used to construct pipe bombs,” said FBI Special Agent Michael Fortunato.
Former FBI special agent in charge of the Detroit Field Office, Andy Arena says large scale attacks like the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shooting can be a catalyst.
“I think when you have an event like what we saw in Pittsburgh it churns the water,” Arena said.
“It gets things moving and it gets people thinking and the people that are prone to do something, it really causes them to act.”