Author: WKYC Staff
Published: 10:06 AM EST February 13, 2019
Updated: 10:57 AM EST February 13, 2019
CLEVELAND — The man who was arrested last summer for allegedly plotting a terrorist attack in Cleveland on July 4 is now facing new charges.
Authorities announced additional accusations Wednesday against Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts -- aka Abdur Raheem Rafeeq -- in which he allegedly made threats against President Trump and his family.
The indictment says Pitts “knowingly and willfully made threats” on June 15, 2018, to “get” President Trump by cutting off his head and hands.
That same day, authorities say Pitts also made threats to kidnap and kill members of President Trump's family.
According to the indictment (read in full below), Pitts said the following: "…a better way to get, to get him is to kill his kids. Kill his daughter, son-in-law. Kill ‘em all. He (the President) come out ‘cause you start killing his kids, chop their heads off…you send his kids back."
Pitts, 49, has been in custody since July when investigators thwarted his alleged plot to attack Cleveland during the July 4 holiday celebrations.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, between 2015 and 2017, Pitts expressed anti-American sentiments and expressed a desire to recruit people to kill Americans. The defendant expressed a desire to meet with an al Qaeda “brother,” and in June he was introduced to an FBI employee acting in an undercover capacity, who Pitts believed was such a “brother.”
“He talked about wanting to target people watching fireworks over downtown Cleveland,” United States Attorney Justin Herdman said after Pitts was arrested last July.