The federal charges filed this week against a Harford County man accused of pledging allegiance to the self-declared Islamic State come as rising fears of terrorism — and growing anti-Muslim rhetoric — have returned to dominate public discussion.
A besieged al-Qaida, weakened by 10 years of war and the killing of Osama bin Laden and other leaders, is focusing much of its attention on inspiring recruits in the United States and other nations to carry out attacks the terror group itself might no longer be able to mount.
A retired FBI agent says the agency was too slow to investigate Antonio Martinez, who's accused of trying to blow up a military recruiting center in Maryland, and showed a "reckless disregard" for evidence collection by failing to record several meetings between Martinez and an informant.
Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment Thursday charging Mohammad Hassan Khalid, a Howard County teenager. with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists with a suburban Pennsylvania woman known as "Jihad Jane."
Antonio Martinez, who's accused of masterminding a failed jihadist plot to car bomb a Catonsville military center, pleaded not guilty Friday to a two-count indictment charging him with the attempted murder of federal employees and the attempted use of a "weapon of mass destruction."
The suspect in the attempted bombing of the Army recruiting center in Catonsville apparently drew inspiration from an array of websites and radical Islamic leaders, including a U.S.-born cleric who has been targeted for assassination by the Obama administration, according to an FBI affidavit.