Federal authorities have charged a Maryland man they believe was plotting to ram a stolen truck into pedestrians at the National Harbor waterfront development in Maryland, just outside the nation’s capital, the Justice Department announced Monday.
28-year-old Rondell Henry of Germantown, Maryland, has been charged with interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle, but in court documents authorities allege a much more sinister intention.
According to authorities, Henry claimed to law enforcement that he was inspired by ISIS when he stole a U-Haul van looking to use it as a weapon.
Henry allegedly wanted to conduct an operation like the attack on pedestrians in Nice, France, in 2016, when a terrorist killed 86 people and wounded 450 others when he drove a 19-ton truck into a crowd celebrating a local holiday.
The Justice Department said Henry harbored “hatred” for anyone who wasn’t Muslim, and he was allegedly inspired by watching terrorist propaganda videos.
“He was a computer engineer by trade, and knew nothing of explosives or firearms. But he knew how to drive, and he also knew of the terrorist truck attack in Nice, France. So the defendant decided to use what was readily at his disposal and conduct a vehicular attack on a crowd of innocents,” federal prosecutors said in court documents.