GREENBELT, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - A man suspected of planning a terrorist attack at National Harbor has been ordered held without bond until trial. Rondell Henry appeared in federal court in Greenbelt Tuesday where a judge said the evidence against him is strong.
“Based on our investigation, so far this defendant appears to have formed a plot to harm large numbers of innocent people and taken concrete steps to execute that plot. I’m very grateful to my office's national security prosecutors, as well as to the brave men and women of law enforcement, who kept the public safe in this case,” said Robert Hur, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.
Those concrete steps, according to investigators, included stealing a U-Haul truck and driving to Dulles Airport where Henry went inside the terminal with hopes of penetrating security and when he failed to succeed there, he got back in the stolen truck and drove to National Harbor where he scoped out a place for the attack.
In court Tuesday, a prosecutor said Henry looked for the ideal spot — a choke point for civilians — a place where he could come off the road and onto a sidewalk to get the largest number of casualties.
In his statements to investigators, Henry said he believed in an “eye-for-an-eye" and "the best way for balance is physical pain and bloodshed.”
Henry's defense attorney told the judge his client is a naturalized citizen, a computer engineer with a bachelor's degree and no criminal record.
He said the FBI is putting out to the public a narrative to make Henry look like the worst possible person — a terrorist.
“This case emphasizes our greatest threat right now is homegrown violent extremists. Those individuals who radicalize independently and alone in their own home with little to no warning,” said Jennifer Moore, FBI.
Henry spent as many as six days in a mental hospital, but there was no explanation for it and they would not take questions.