Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, of Cumming, was arrested Wednesday following a yearlong investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies. Investigators said he ultimately revealed his plans to an undercover FBI agent and said he had a sketch of the West Wing floor plan, among other items.
Taheb appeared in court in Atlanta on Wednesday, and was charged with an "attempt to damage by means of an explosive, any building owned possessed or leased by the United States, or any department agency thereof," Byung J. “BJay” Pak, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, told reporters outside the courthouse.
Citing an affidavit, Taheb allegedly intended "to attack the White House, and other targets of opportunity in the Washington, D.C., area, by using explosive devices."
The FBI noted that "all potential threats have been neutralized and have been under control from the inception of this case." Pak added that there was no threat to any northern Georgia location, "nor was the upcoming Super Bowl the target of alleged activity."
The investigation began following a community tip. A criminal complaint, obtained by Fox News, said that a neighbor reported the 21-year-old in March 2018, alleging he'd become radicalized.
In August, an FBI informant reached out to Taheb after he put a vehicle up for sale. Days later, Taheb met with an undercover FBI agent to discuss the car.
When Taheb and the informant met in October, Taheb allegedly said he planned to travel to the Middle East, and was trying to sell the car to pay for his trip, despite not having a passport.
He discussed with the undercover agent exchanging their cars for weapons and explosives, officials said. Taheb said he wanted to use "semi-automatic weapons, improvised explosive devices, an [shoulder-fired anti-armor weapon] and hand grenades" in his attack, according to the FBI.
Taheb allegedly told the informant during that since he couldn't travel abroad, he wanted to hit local targets, like the White House and the Statue of Liberty, and intended to be a "martyr." He allegedly told the informant that "jihad" was the best part of Islam, and explained that achieving it wasn't difficult.
Taheb revealed at some point during the investigation that he had a "hand-drawn diagram of the ground floor of the West Wing of the White House," and specified areas where the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security were located, officials alleged.
Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker, with the FBI's Atlanta field office, told reporters that as investigators believe Taheb acted on his own, but an investigation is ongoing.
Fox News' Jake Gibson contributed to this report.