Man charged in terrorist support case pleads guilty

November 5, 2019 GMT

CLEVELAND (AP) — A man who authorities said thought he was working with an al-Qaida operative to scout locations for a July 4 terror attack in downtown Cleveland has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

The U.S. Justice Department said 50-year-old Demetrius Pitts, of Maple Heights, pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempting to provide support to a terrorist group and for threats against President Donald Trump and his family.

Authorities said Pitts between 2015 and 2017 wanted to recruit people to kill Americans. He met with an undercover FBI agent posing as an al-Qaida operative in 2018 to discuss plans for a terrorist attack during July 4 fireworks.

Pitts’ attorney declined to comment about the plea.

Pitts is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 11 and could face as many as 14 years in prison.