CLEVELAND -- Authorities have released extensive details in a 33-page affidavit that explains how a man allegedly planned a terrorist attack in downtown Cleveland on July 4.
Below, we have listed key dates and information from the affidavit regarding the arrest of Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts. NOTE: You can read the entire affidavit at the bottom of this story.
June 22: Pitts met with an undercover agent in Walton Hills where they discussed launching an attack for al-Qaeda during July 4 in Cleveland. After learning the fireworks would be launched from Voinovich Park, Pitts said: “Oh there you go. Oh yeah.” The meeting concluded with Pitts telling the agent he would travel to downtown Cleveland soon to take photos and video as part of surveillance efforts of Voinovich Park and the U.S. Coast Guard Station.
June 26: Pitts notified the undercover agent that he completed reconnaissance of the designated spots in downtown Cleveland and that he desired to “destroy the government.” Pitts indicated it was his “job” to “go look at the base of the ground” and that it was up to other “brothers” to complete other parts of the job.
June 27: Pitts traveled to downtown Cleveland with the undercover agent to discuss the bombing. “I’m gonna be somewhere cuz I wanna see it go off,” Pitts said. Investigators find four videos on his phone that show him walking down E. 9th Street in Cleveland, pointing out several potential targets like the federal building, Coast Guard Station and St. John’s Cathedral.
June 28: A forensic examination of Pitts’ phone revealed two allegiance videos to al-Qaeda: “Only can we proceed to do what we need for the pleasure of Allah is we fight as one. We must kill disbelievers, destroy, annihilate them. …” Other reconnaissance photos recovered from Pitts include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cleveland Harbor. It’s also on this day he discussed purchasing a vehicle with the purpose of packing it with a bomb.
June 30: Pitts now discussed the possibility of traveling to San Francisco to conduct additional targeting and reconnaissance on behalf of al-Qaeda.
July 1: Pitts met with the agent in Garfield Heights to discuss his plan to attack Philadelphia in the future. He stated that a truck bomb packed with explosives, like the one used in Oklahoma City, would be the best way to cause maximum damage. Meanwhile, Pitts suggested to the agent they give remote control cars filled with explosives to the children of military personnel to play with at the July 4 parade. His idea was so children could take the cars home and unwittingly bow up their own houses. It's also this day that Pitts is taken into custody.
You can read the full affidavit below: