|A Dallas skyscraper that houses employees of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Wells Fargo Bank was the target of a bomber who is now in custody.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced yesterday the arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi.
The 19-year-old Jordanian citizen was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
According to the FBI, Smadi was an illegal alien living and working in Italy, Texas. He came to the bureau’s attention because of “vehement” statements about his desire to commit violent jihad as a “soldier for Usama Bin Laden and al Qaeda.”
Undercover FBI agents had been posing as members of an al Qaeda “sleeper” cell and talking with Smadi. He initially told agents about potential Dallas-area targets in June 2009. But the following month he zeroed in on the Dallas skyscraper — talking with the undercover agents about his plans and casing the building.
photo of Fountain Place taken
from MortgageDaily.com office
photo of Fountain Place
from Google Maps
|The 60-story tower, known as Fountain Place, is located at 1445 Ross Avenue in Dallas, according to the statement. Among its tenants are Wells Fargo Bank and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
The defendant allegedly began discussing the logistics and timing of the bombing with FBI agents last month. He preferred Sept. 11, but decided to wait until after the month of Ramadan ended on Sept. 20.
He decided to use a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device by parking a vehicle at the foundation of Fountain Place.
But the FBI fooled Smadi by providing him with fake explosive devises — preventing a major tragedy.
“The identification and apprehension of this defendant, who was acting alone, is a sobering reminder that there are people among us who want to do us grave harm,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas James T. Jacks said in the statement.