Abdur Raheem Rafeeq aka Demetrius N Pitts has been arrested for plotting to bomb the 4th of July Parade in Cleveland.
FBI agents arrested him just days before a July Fourth attack he allegedly was planning on a downtown Cleveland park – the site of the city’s annual fireworks display. He discussed potentially detonating a van packed with explosives or sending remote control cars packed with C-4 and shrapnel toward the children of U.S. military officers attending the city’s Fourth of July parade.
His motives were anything but subtle. As subtle as his first message, “USA Will be Destroy. Allahu Akbar.”
December, 2015 – Abdur Raheem Rafeeq, later determined to be Pitts, sends a private message on Facebook to a California-based political commentary show. According to the affidavit, the message says the USA will be destroyed, along with the phrase “Allahu Akbar.”
July, 2017 – Pitts expresses a desire to recruit people to kill Americans who are anti-Muslim, the affidavit says.
June 15, 2018 – An undercover FBI agent posing as a contact of al-Qaida meets with Pitts in Willoughby after Pitts expresses a desire to meet with an al-Qaida “brother.” The agent secretly records the conversation. According to the affidavit, Pitts describes possible targets to attack. Pitts dismisses the idea of targeting a sports venue or marathon and again talks about attacking military members.
June 22, 2018 – The undercover agent meets with Pitts in Walton Hills, where the affidavit says they discuss launching an attack in Cleveland for al-Qaida during the Fourth of July holiday. Pitts talks about targeting downtown festivities and using a remote control car to set off a bomb. Pitts and the undercover agent review online maps of downtown Cleveland, where Pitts determines an explosive device will have the most “impact,” the affidavit says. In talking about possible targets, Pitts is pleased to learn that fireworks are set off from Voinovich Park, which is near the U.S. Coast Guard station, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building. Pitts says he will travel downtown to take photos and record video of the locations, and asks for a bus pass and cellphone to do so.
June 24, 2018 – Pitts texts the agent, saying that he wants to be known by the name “Salahadeen Osama Waleed.”
Abdur, Osama or Demetrius had contributed a lot to society even before this arrest.
Pitts said he has an associate’s degree from a culinary school and that he “can’t work no more” because he is disabled.
But he could bomb more.
“We gonna hit the Bicentennial City – Philadelphia,” he told the undercover agent, according to court filings. “Now, that will really open their eyes.”
Together, the pair allegedly discussed the best way to send a message through violence as well as specific tactics to dismember and dispose of bodies of U.S. service members and even President Trump.
“You take the person’s head and his two hands and they know right off the bat, ‘Boy, these people aren’t playing,’” Pitts said in one conversation quoted in the affidavit in which he described the most effective way to dismember a terror target. “That’s how I would send Donald Trump back. Head, hand, hand. I wouldn’t leave no type of message or nothing.”
The message is obvious. Coexist.