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CLEVELAND (CBS Local) — A man who allegedly planned a terrorist attack in Cleveland last summer and expressed his desire to plan a future attack in Philadelphia also made threats to kill President Donald Trump and his family, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts of Maple Heights, Ohio, is now also charged with making threats against the president of the United States, threats against immediate family members of the president of the United States.
Pitts, 49, threatened to kidnap the president in June 2018 and cut off his head and hands, according to the new indictment.
Pitts also allegedly threatened to kill Trump’s family. The indictment stated Pitts said he would, “Kill his kids. Kill his daughter, son-in-law. Kill ’em all. He (the President) come out ’cause you start killing his kids, chop their heads off…you send his kids back.”
Pitts was also charged with two counts of false statements to law enforcement. Authorities say he lied to the FBI about not having knowledge of a planned terrorist attack on Cleveland last year. He allegedly denied talking with an undercover agent who he believed was a member of al-Qaeda.
The new indictment supersedes a previous indictment that charged Pitts with attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda.
Authorities said they learned about Pitts, a U.S. citizen who uses the aliases Abdur Raheem Rafeeq and Salah ad-Deen Osama Waleed, in January 2017 following comments he posted on photographs of a possible jihad training camp, according to court documents.
He was arrested July 2, 2018, after having several meetings with an undercover FBI agent who he allegedly discussed his plans with for a terrorist attack in downtown Cleveland on the Fourth of July.
“I did tell myself that their holiday is coming up, the 4th of July, Independence Day. What would hit them in the core? Blow up, have a bomb, blow up at the 4th of July parade,” Pitts allegedly said.
FBI officials say Pitts also expressed his desire to plan a truck-bomb attack in Philadelphia, where he had previously lived.