Pair charged for plot to attack White House, Trump Tower

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Federal authorities have arrested two men on terror charges for allegedly plotting to bomb or shoot up sites including the White House and Trump Tower in New York City in attacks inspired by the Islamic State group.

Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Texas, and Kristopher Sean Matthews, of South Carolina, are both charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. They were arrested in different states last week.

The pair had discussed traveling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group or carrying out attacks at Trump Tower, the White House, the New York Stock Exchange or the headquarters of federal law enforcement agencies, according to court records unsealed this week.

They were allegedly studying how to build car bombs, suicide belts and other explosives and discussed plans for attacks with other people over an encrypted messaging application.

On Saturday, FBI agents arrested Matthews in Cleveland City, Tennessee, and took Molina into custody in Gonzales, Texas, a city about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of San Antonio, according to Special Agent Michelle Lee. She declined to comment further on the case.

A federal public defender for Molina did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Court records do not list an attorney for Matthews.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas declined to comment.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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