A Forsyth County man was sentenced Thursday, July 23, to 15 years in prison for plotting an attack on the White House and other Washington, D.C., monuments, according to court officials.
Hasher Jallal Taheb, 23, pleaded guilty to attempted destruction of government property by fire or explosive. He was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court.
“Taheb painstakingly planned an attack on the White House that potentially jeopardized the lives of White House employees and visitors,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in a statement. “We are thankful to members of our community and our federal and state law enforcement partners who identified Taheb’s scheme and worked cooperatively to bring him to justice.”
Taheb was arrested on Jan. 16, 2019, during a meeting with undercover FBI special agents at a store in Buford where he expected to obtain semi-automatic assault rifles, explosive devices and an anti-tank weapon.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung “BJ” Pak, someone from the metro Atlanta area first reported concerns that Taheb, who graduated from Forsyth Central High School in 2015, had become “radicalized” and planned to travel abroad, to a local law enforcement agency in March of 2018.
A subsequent FBI undercover operation allegedly found that Taheb had applied for a U.S. passport three months later, in June 2018, and that he wanted to participate in “jihad” by attacking prominent U.S. monuments, first the White House and Statue of Liberty and later others in the Washington area, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue.
Undercover FBI special agents met with Taheb in January 2019, where he produced sketches of the White House and described the types of weapons he planned to use in the attacks, including semi-automatic weapons, improvised explosive devices, an anti-tank weapon and hand grenades.
Following his prison term, Taheb will be on supervised release for three years.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Gwinnett County Police Department, assisted the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force's investigation.
The Forsyth County News contributed to this report.