Published December 08, 2010
A man was arrested Wednesday for plotting to blow up a military recruitment center in the Baltimore area, authorities said.
Antonio Martinez, a Muslim convert who called himself Muhammed Hussain, was arrested and is expected to appear later Wednesday in federal court, Fox News confirms.
Martinez, a U.S. citizen, was caught in a sting operation as he tried to detonate a phony bomb at an Armed Forces recruiting station in Catonsville, just outside Baltimore, officials said.
"A Baltimore man has been arrested this morning in connection with a scheme to attack an Armed Forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland, with what he believed to be vehicle bomb," U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement sent to Fox News. "There was no actual danger to the public as the explosives were inert and the suspect had been carefully monitored by law enforcement for months."
The suspect was arrested after he tried to set off what he thought was a bomb, according to an official.
There was no evidence the plot was linked to recent shootings at military installations in the Washington area, authorities said. Baltimore is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Washington.
The case appeared similar to a recent bomb plot in Portland, Oregon. Last month, a Somali-born teenager was arrested there after using a cell phone to try to detonate what he thought were explosives in a van, authorities said. He thought he was going to bomb a crowded downtown Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.
Like the Baltimore County case, it turned out to be a dummy bomb plot put together by FBI agents. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested after authorities said he planned the details of the plot, including where to park the van filled with explosives to hurt the most people. Mohamud allegedly believed he was receiving help from a larger ring of jihadists as he communicated with undercover agents.
The incidents are the latest in a string of alleged terrorist plans by U.S. citizens or residents, including a Times Square plot in which a Pakistan-born man tried to set off a car bomb on a busy street. He pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Fox News' Mike Levine and the Associated Press contributed to this report