Maple Heights man accused of plotting July 4 terror attack indicted

CLEVELAND— An Ohio man accused of scouting locations for a terrorist attack during July 4 fireworks in downtown Cleveland has been charged with attempting to provide material support to Al Qaeda.

An indictment filed Wednesday against 49-year-old Demetrius Pitts, of Maple Heights, comes after a federal court magistrate concluded in November that Pitts was mentally competent to stand trial. Prosecutors say he was arrested July 2, the day after discussing with an undercover operative working with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force plans for a truck-bomb attack in Philadelphia.

Prosecutors say an FBI operative gave Pitts a cellphone and a bus pass so he could travel to downtown Cleveland to scout locations for the July 4 attack.

Messages seeking comment were left Thursday with Pitts' federal public defender.

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