Accused terrorist arrested in Augusta

A suspected terrorist was arrested Tuesday morning at an Augusta bus terminal. (WRDW-TV)

A suspected terrorist was arrested Tuesday morning at an Augusta bus terminal. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It all went down at the Greyhound Bus Depot in downtown Augusta.

Mohammad Abukhdair, 25, was arrested Tuesday morning.

Employees say the place was crawling with agents. Some in the waiting room, others on buses, some even up in the air.

According to the affidavit, Abukhdair was planning on taking a bus from here to Canada, where he would then fly to Morocco. We're told he had to fly out of Canada because he's already been denied from flying in the U.S.

Federal prosecutors say he planned to "wage violent jihad" overseas. That means he planned to maim, injure or kill persons outside of the U.S.

But his stop at the Augusta bus depot turned out to be the end of his journey.

A woman waiting on a bus this afternoon said she almost took the morning bus when all this was going down and said now she's a little nervous to travel at all.

"I'm scared. I'm scared because I don't know what's going to happen, cause you never know," said Maria Garcia as she waited on her bus.

Investigators say the violence overseas wasn't the only plan Abukhdair had.

Earlier this year he was looking to hit a little closer to home.

We're told back in February he was planning to commit a terrorist act within the United States. He suggested a shootout with police or filling a car with explosives and driving into a building.

He's quoted as saying, "Well, at the very least, we kill them all, and it's going to make the government look bad if they just let all of their citizens die."

Now he's behind bars, charged with conspiring to provide material to terrorists and passport fraud.

People waiting to catch a bus this afternoon said that's proof that nowadays, you can't trust anyone.

Roderick McBride was waiting on a bus with family.

"Now you just got to watch everything your surroundings. Everything just really crazy now you never know what you up to," he said.

This isn't the first time Abukhdair has been arrested. He lived in Egypt back in 2010 and was arrested there, too, for suspected connections to a terrorist group.

After he was released, he was deported. That's when he came to the U.S.

He was actually born in New York but lived in the U.S. and overseas, most recently in Mobile, Ala.

He told an undercover FBI agent that the end goal for Islam was to take over the world and that jihad was the way to achieve that goal.

Abukhdair was one of two suspects arrested by FBI agents. They found him at Augusta's bus terminal, but the second suspect was found about 157 miles away.

The FBI says Randy Wilson was taken into custody at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Agents say he was trying to board a flight for Morocco. Investigators say Wilson, who is also known as Rasheed Wilson, met Abukhdair online in 2010.

Then, in August 2011, the two men met with what we're told was an undercover FBI agent. They told that agent they had a plan to travel overseas and wage a violent jihad.

The FBI says Wilson and Abukhdair wanted to get involved in a conflict in Mauritania or a country near there. Mauritania is in West Africa.


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