Antonio Benjamin Martinez

Antonio Benjamin Martinez is a U.S. citizen and would-be domestic terrorist. He is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence for attempting to bomb an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland.Charlie Savage and Gary Gately, “Man Arrested in Bomb Plot in Maryland,” New York Times, December 8. 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/us/09bomb.html. Martinez, a Hispanic convert to Islam, came under FBI investigation in October 2010 after he published several jihadist-related posts on his Facebook account.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 3, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf. He was arrested in December 2010 after plotting an attack alongside undercover FBI agents.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 16, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf. Martinez pled guilty in June 2012 and was sentenced in April of that year.“Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center,” FBI, January 26, 2012, https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/baltimore/press-releases/2012/maryland-man-pleads-guilty-to-attempted-use-of-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction-in-plot-to-attack-armed-forces-recruiting-center;
U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland, “Maryland Man Sentenced to 25 Years In Prison For Attempted Use Of A Weapon Of Mass Destruction In Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 6, 2012,  https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/md/news/2012/MarylandManSentencedto25YearsinPrisonforAttemptedUseofaWeaponofMassDestruction.html.

Before his December 2010 arrest, Martinez reportedly operated a Facebook account under the alias “Muhammad Hussain.” According to the FBI, Martinez’s Facebook “friends” included “Authentic Tawheed,” a pro-jihad website founded by internationally-banned extremist Abdullah Faisal.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 9, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf;
“Authentic Tauheed,” Authentic Tauheed, accessed September 12, 2015, http://www.authentictauheed.com/;
Shiv Malik, “Radical Cleric Urges Islamic State to Release British Hostage Alan Henning,” Guardian (London), September 24, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/radical-cleric-islamic-state-release-british-hostage-alan-henning.
Martinez was also “friends” with “Call to Islam,” a U.K.-based online network affiliated with the now-defunct group and website Revolution Muslim. Revolution Muslim was led by U.S. citizen Jesse Morton, who pled guilty in February 2012 to conspiring to solicit murder and using the Internet “to place others in fear.”“Leader of Revolution Muslim Pleads Guilty to Using Internet to Solicit Murder and Encourage Violent Extremism,” FBI, February 9, 2012, https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/washingtondc/press-releases/2012/leader-of-revolution-muslim-pleads-guilty-to-using-internet-to-solicit-murder-and-encourage-violent-extremism. According to court documents, one month before his arrest, Martinez viewed a video of Osama bin Laden as well as footage from terrorist training camps on the Revolution Muslim website.“Statement of Facts: United States of America v. Jesse Curtis Morton, defendant,” U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 24.

Martinez began communicating with an FBI information via Facebook in October 2010. In initial conversations, Martinez stated his desire to travel to Pakistan or Afghanistan, or, as Martinez explained, any country that “struggle[s] for the sake of Allah.”“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 3, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf. According to the FBI informant—referred to in the criminal complaint as a confidential human source (CHS)—Martinez revealed his desire to target “anything military,” reasoning that U.S. soldiers were deserving of death because of their operations in Muslim countries.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 3, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf. Later that month, in a meeting with the CHS, Martinez praised deceased al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, calling him his “beloved sheikh.”“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 5, 10, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf. In another conversation during that time, Martinez identified the Armed Forces Career Center in Catonsville, Maryland, as his intended target.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 4, 8, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf.

In mid-November, Martinez began plotting the attack against the Armed Forces Career Center with the CHS and another FBI agent, referred to as the UC. The UC provided Martinez with an inert bomb, but told him that it was a functioning explosive.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 10, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf. On December 8, 2010, Martinez parked an SUV carrying what he believed to be the working explosive outside of the Career Center. Martinez left the area with the CHS, and attempted to remotely detonate the device. Martinez was immediately arrested and charged with attempting to murder federal officers and employees, as well as attempting use of a weapon of mass destruction against property owned, leased or used by the United States.“United States of America v. Antonio Martinez, a/k/a Muhammad Hussain,” U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, December 9, 2010, 15, 18, http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/536/536.pdf.

In January 2012, Martinez pled guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property.“Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center,” FBI, January 26, 2012, https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/baltimore/press-releases/2012/maryland-man-pleads-guilty-to-attempted-use-of-a-weapon-of-mass-destruction-in-plot-to-attack-armed-forces-recruiting-center. During Martinez’s detainment while on trial, jail guards uncovered a banner in Martinez’s cell that depicted crossed swords, an AK-47, and writing in Arabic.United States Attorney District of Maryland Northern Division, “Antonio Martinez banner seized in jail,” Baltimore Sun, April 2, 2012, http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/332132-antonio-martinez-banner-seized-in-jail.html. In April 2010, prosecutors sentenced him to 25 years in prison and an additional five years of supervised release.U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Maryland, “Maryland Man Sentenced to 25 Years In Prison For Attempted Use Of A Weapon Of Mass Destruction In Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center,” U.S. Department of Justice, April 6, 2012, https://www.justice.gov/archive/usao/md/news/2012/MarylandManSentencedto25YearsinPrisonforAttemptedUseofaWeaponofMassDestruction.html.

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