Missouri man accused of trying to aid ISIS-inspired attack

Hester wrote messages to undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents - who he believed were terrorist sympathisers - stating the US Government should be "overthrown" and that he wanted "global jihad".

'Hester presented himself as a security threat, stating, for example, that the USA government should be "overthrown", and suggesting "hitting" the government "hard", while noting that it would not be "a one man job,"' a Justice Department release about his arrest said.

Hester, who had received a general discharge from the Army in 2013, allegedly came to the attention of investigators in September through a series of social media posts in which he "expressed his animus towards the USA, and suggested an adherence to radical Islamic ideology and a propensity for violence".

He spent ten days in custody for the incident but was released on bond and told to wear an electric ankle tag.

'He believed he was part of an ISIS-sponsored terrorist attack that would result in the deaths and injuries of many innocent victims.

The documents say that during a January 31, 2017 meeting, an undercover employee provided Hester with a list of items to purchase, including nine-volt batteries, duct tape, copper wire and roofing nails. A criminal complaint was signed Sunday and made public after Hester's first court appearance Monday, Dickinson's office said. He also was shown weapons and was told several backpacks containing explosives would be placed in different locations in Kansas City.

In a series of alleged electronic communications earlier this month, Hester allegedly expressed his willingness to proceed with the plan which targeted "buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City". "But Hester said, 'I'm down, ' " allegedly indicating the suspect's support for a plan created to kill "a lot of people".

Authorities began investigating Hester, who was discharged from the Army after less than a year of service in 2013, in September and first examined his public posts on social media accounts.

'Hester identified categories of potential targets for attack and said he wanted a "global jihad".

A Missouri native, Hester was arrested during a February 17 meeting with one of the agents. He readily participated in the preparations for an attack, provided materials and resources for an attack, and voiced his intent to carry out an attack. Hester was accused of throwing a folded pocket knife through a plate glass window of a Columbia grocery store, then threatening employees while he had a gun in a diaper bag, the release said.



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