The Donald Trump administration’s Department of Justice boasted about its first FBI terror arrest on Tuesday.
After an elaborate undercover sting operation, the FBI arrested 25-year-old Robert Lorenzo Hester of Columbia, Missouri even though the only ties he had to terrorism were the two undercover FBI agents, posing as ISIS terrorists, who paid him to buy terrorism supplies from a hardware store that they convinced him were for a bomb.
The agents came in contact with Hester after becoming alarmed over his comments on Facebook posted under a pseudonym.
During the sting operation, one of the undercover agents pulled a knife on Hester, threatening harm to his family if he reneged on participating in the attacks, according to The Intercept.
Hester didn’t have the $20 he would have needed to buy 9-volt batteries, duct tape and roofing nails to make shrapnel for the bomb his new FBI pals wanted him to buy pieces for.
According to the criminal complain included below, undercover FBI agents gave him the money after they “confirmed that Hester could not get the money.”
Then, after using the money to buy roofing nails, batteries and batteries, an agent came to Hester’s home to collect the needed items, except for copper wire, which Hester was claimed he was unable to find.
The agent opened the trunk, showing him several dummy assault rifles and fake bombs, which were presented to look real.
One agent, who befriended Hester through social media, stated he was planning to carry out a violent terrorist attack for the Islamic State on President’s Day targeting trains, buses and a Kansas City train station, asking Hester if he would take part.
“I’m down,” Hester replied, according to the criminal complaint against him.
For several weeks, Hester kept in contact with the agents saying in messages he was “happy to be a part” of the upcoming attack.