On Wednesday night a jury indicted 28-year-old Trinidadian Rondell Henry, who was arrested after he allegedly plotted a terrorist attack and stole a U-Haul at National Harbour in Washington. If convicted he can face a maximum of ten years in prisom.
Reacting to this latest terrorist plot involving a Trinidadian, the Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front) headed by Umar Abdullah expressed at the report and said such intentions should be condemned in the strongest terms. In a release late on Wednesday night, Abdullah said “in no way should this be aligned to Islam and Muslims.”
“This type of ideology places someone totally out of the fold of Islam. It’s an orientation that’s the product of a failed response, a failed social structure, a failed education system and a failed State,” he said.
“This is not an Islamic ideology. Islam promotes a monotheistic ideology that stands for all mankind and love for all humanity.”
According to a Washington Post article dated April 9, after two years of admiring and studying Islamic State fighters who beheaded and attacked civilians abroad, Henry decided it was time to join the ranks of the terrorists he considered “brave.”
The article stated that Henry started spending more time with his family, thinking he would never see them again, prosecutors said. On March 24, he told his landlord on he was breaking his lease, and two days later, he walked off his job in the middle of a shift.
Henry turned away from the life he had spent building for himself in the United States over a decade with the intention of “killing as many disbelievers as possible” in a suicide attack, prosecutors said.
But the plot he’s accused of was quickly uncovered. Federal and local law enforcement in Maryland said what started out as investigations into a missing person — Henry — and a stolen U-Haul van turned out to be the thwarting of a terrorist attack targeting families and civilians at a major international airport and a busy waterfront entertainment destination outside of Washington.
On Tuesday, a federal magistrate judge ordered Henry, of Germantown, to remain in jail pending trial in what the government called an Islamic State-
Michael Citara Manis, an assistant federal public defender representing Henry in the federal case, said Henry has no prior criminal record and urged the judge to view the government’s assertions with suspicion.
Henry appeared in U. District Court in Greenbelt, Md., one day after the government publicly accused him of plotting to mow down crowds with a stolen van to “commit mass murder.”
Federal authorities have charged him with taking a stolen car across state lines, but he is not charged with a terror-related count. No additional charges were entered Tuesday.
In court, prosecutors echoed the accusations made in earlier court filings that in March, Henry sized up Dulles International Airport for two hours to see if it had a large enough crowd for his plot. Finding too few people there, they contend, Henry drove to another target — busy National Harbor in Prince George’s — with the same notion to run down pedestrians with the van.
Officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority declined Tuesday to detail Henry’s whereabouts while at the airport. They would not say where Henry’s van was parked during the time he is said to have spent there and said they are cooperating with investigators.
On March 28, police spotted Henry leaping over a security fence from the boat dock and arrested him, court documents state.
Henry, who prosecutors said was born in Trinidad and Tobago and is a naturalized US citizen, did not enter a plea to the federal charge. He wore a maroon jail jumpsuit during proceedings, and his family members sat toward the back of the courtroom.
His relatives and attorney declined to comment outside court.
- by Rhondor Dowlat