Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago studios and Willis Tower were reportedly the targets of a terrorist bomb plot in 2009, according to Judicial Watch.
The watchdog group, citing anonymous sources, said the plot was inspired by “militant Islamist hatred of American military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
“The plot called for the use of a U-Haul-style trailer, as well as a delivery-style “step van,” that was purchased at auction in El Paso, Texas,” Judicial Watch said in a post on its website. “Sources say the bombs were constructed with the plastic explosive C-4 and Tannerite, a binary explosive of ammonium nitrate and aluminum designed for detonation by means of a high-velocity firearms cartridge. Officials believe the C-4 explosives were obtained from Fort Bliss, the sprawling US Army base in El Paso, and the Tannerite was brought into the United States from Mexico.”
The conservative public interest group reports the pair planned to target Winfrey’s Harpo Studios “because they resented her popularity and power” and the Willis Tower “because of its obvious landmark status.”
The website said the alleged truck-bomb plotters, who were based in El Paso, were recently arrested “for unrelated state crimes in different parts of the country” as federal and Illinois authorities intercepted them before they reached Chicago.
They identified one of the suspects as Emad Karakrah, who is currently being held in the Cook County Jail and faces felony charges of disorderly conduct and aggravated fleeing, and a misdemeanor count of driving on a never-issued license, according to Chicago police.
Police allege Karakrah threatened to bomb officers after leading them on chase through Chicago’s Southwest Side with the flag of Iraq militant group ISIS waving from his car.
The second suspect was identified on the website as Hector Pedroza Huerta, an undocumented immigrant held in the El Paso County Jail for allegedly driving intoxicated.