Three Rome men were arrested and accused of trying to get bombs to use against federal government facilities, authorities said.
Brian Cannon, 37, Terry Peace, 45, and Cory Williamson, 28, were each charged with conspiracy to receive and possess unregistered destructive devices, prosecutors said.
“This case is a stark reminder of the threat we face not just from abroad, but from within our own borders from our own citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “When plans turn violent, law enforcement must step in to protect our communities from harm. Fortunately, the FBI was able to stop these defendants before they were able to carry out their plans.”
Since January 2013, prosecutors said Peace, Williamson and Cannon participated in online chat discussions regarding plans to carry out an operation against the government this month using pipe bombs and thermite devices.
Peace encouraged his cohorts to review guerrilla and small unit tactics, prepare their families and gather supplies, authorities said.
Prosecutors said the three had their sights set on targets such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, TSA and FEMA facilities, and sought a dozen pipe bombs and a pair of thermite grenades.
The discussions were reported to the FBI, and a witness cooperating with federal agents was tapped to provide the trio with inert explosive devices, authorities said.
The three met the witness at a location in Cartersville on Feb. 15, and they were arrested as they took possession of the fake explosives, authorities said.
Williamson, Cannon and Peace were in court on Tuesday, and prosecutors said Cannon and Williamson were detained by federal authorities.
Peace will return to court next week, according to Channel 2 Action News.
“The FBI can no longer wait to respond to the aftermath of a radicalized individual’s or group’s threats,” said Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office. “Instead, we have to bring our investigative and analytical assets to bear in getting ahead of those threats and potential attacks and do so within the rule of law.”
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