By Maya Rhodan
January 15, 2015

A man in Ohio has been arrested for allegedly planning to attack the U.S. Capitol and kill government officials, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The Cincinnati-area man identified by authorities as Christopher Cornell, 20 and of Green Township, is said to have used an alias and expressed support for the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) on Twitter, which caught the eye of law enforcement officials.

A criminal complaint explains that Cornell began unknowingly communicating with a confidential FBI informant when he allegedly expressed interest in carrying out an attack on the Capitol, which involved him detonating a pipe bomb and shooting government officials. He was arrested after purchasing two semi-automatic rifles and 600 rounds ammunition.

Cornell’s father, John Cornell, told CNN on Wednesday that he did not believe his son could carry out an attack: “I don’t think Chris could hurt a fly. His best friend is our kitty cat, you know what I mean? He’s such a loveable, kind person.” He noted his son had only recently taken interest in Islam, but made no mention of terrorism or ISIS.

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