Cleveland terrorism suspect appears in court


Demetrius N. Pitts

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CLEVELAND– The man accused of plotting a terror attack on Cleveland appeared in federal court Monday morning.

Demetrius Pitts, also known as Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He’s charged with attempted material support of a foreign terrorist organization.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony said the FBI originally learned of statements Pitts made supporting Al Qaeda and regarding violent intentions against the armed forces while he lived in the Cincinnati area in 2017.

Pitts moved to Cleveland in May and authorities continued investigating his claims.

Anthony said Pitts met with an undercover agent in June and talked about blowing up a Fourth of July parade.

Anthony said Pitts then surveilled landmarks including the U.S. Coast Guard station and Voinovich Park downtown.

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