Robert Lorenzo Hester Jr., 25, was arrested this week for plotting a President’s Day jihadist terror attack in Kansas City, targeting buses, trains, and a train station.
Hester was formally charged in the U.S. District Court of Kansas City with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. An extensive months-long FBI investigation was being conducted on Hester, who had voiced his support for endeavors related to ISIS in the past.
FBI officials and agents first posed as domestic Islamic State supporters and established contact with Hester. Agents eventually sprung on the Missouri-born veteran when he recently attempted to purchase materials needed to create a bomb.
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Tammy Dickinson published a statement in regards to the operation concerning Hester’s apprehension:
“First on social media, then during face-to-face meetings with an undercover FBI employee, this defendant repeatedly expressed his intent to engage in acts of violent jihad against the United States. He believed he was part of an ISIS-sponsored terrorist attack that would result in the deaths and injuries of many innocent victims.”
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The Islamic State sympathizer is a married father of two small children, with a third on the way, who has refused to comment to media outlets about his arrest. Hester was a recruit in the U.S. Army in 2012, but was discharged in 2013 for major Army regulation violations.
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