'Lone Wolf' Charged With Plotting Attack During Christmas Rush
Feds arrest would-be terrorist allegedly plotting to attack Illinois mall.
Dec. 8, 2006 — -- A Chicago-area man has been charged in an alleged plot to attack a local mall and government buildings.
Derrick Shareef was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to buy grenades and a handgun from an undercover FBI agent posing as a weapons dealer.
In September, Shareef became acquainted with a confidential witness who was cooperating with the FBI and confided to him that he wanted to commit acts of violent jihad against civilians.
On Dec. 2, Shareef and the confidential source made video tapes that included a last will and testament for each. On the video, Shareef again mentioned jihad and said, "This is a warning to those who disbelieve, that we are here for you and I am ready to give my life."
According to the complaint filed today in Chicago, Shareef also discussed attacking local buildings on several occasions, including city hall, the federal courthouse and the shopping center.
In Chicago, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said, "While these are very serious charges, at no time was the public in any imminent peril as a result of the defendant's activities."
According to Justice Department officials, Shareef was under almost constant video surveillance in the days leading up to his arrest.
In a series of undercover records, Shareef discussed with the confidential source shooting a judge in DeKalb, Ill., and targeting government buildings in the Chicago area.
In a Nov. 30 covertly recorded conversation, the confidential source and Shareef discussed attacking a mall. The confidential source said, "You go in there and toss a grenade, and no one's gonna know who did it." Shareef replied, "No one's gonna be expecting no s--t like that. ...The last thing anybody's gonna be thinking about at the mall is a damn grenade."
According to the FBI affidavit detailing the conversations, Shareef later told the informant about the targets he wanted to attack. "Any place that's crowded, like a mall is good, anything, any government facility is good," Shareef said.