Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prosecutors claim Antonio Martinez, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Maryland, confessed to trying to blow up a recruiting center in Catonsville as payback for what he believed was a war on Islam.
Mike Hellgren has new details and why homegrown terror is a growing threat to public safety.
Chilling new details are emerging about Antonio Martinez, who’s been accused of trying to detonate an SUV full of explosives outside a military recruiting center in Catonsville last December.
They say he told their informant, “All he thinks about is jihad” and it was his “dream to be among the ranks of the holy warriors.”
The feds claim Martinez—a recent convert to Islam who also called himself Muhammad Hussain—expressed anger at the government in postings on Facebook.
The University of Maryland’s Michael Greenberger says the biggest threat to America could be from within.
“United States citizens who are radicalized by foreign terror influences and are convinced that doing something that would be of great harm to the United States would be a noble and heroic thing to do,” he said.
Other incidents include a foiled plot by a naturalized American citizen to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon and the mass shootings in Fort Hood. The sole suspect: U.S. Army Major Nadal Hassan, who worshipped at a mosque in Maryland.
“They’re recruiting these people every day over the Internet and they’re taking them places for training and they’re trying to get them back into this country to do us harm,” said 9/11 Commission co-chair Tom Kean.
In the Catonsville plot, Martinez’ lawyers now say the government violated his Constitutional rights by failing to record his confession. He claims the government trapped him.
“I just believe it’s entrapment,” his mother said.
The government denies that and says Martinez repeatedly told their informant he was ready to attack.
Martinez wants his case dismissed. The judge has yet to rule on that.