He is 20, broke and not apparently not too bright. He bought two assault rifles with money he didn't have and hatched a plan to bomb the capital.
Interesting this whole bomb plot headline never points out if he actually had the bombs and I would bet money he didn't. It's hard to build bombs in your mom's basement without someone becoming suspicious.
The average American sees the headline above and figures it was a huge plot thwarted by our vast intelligence system.
More than likely this guy had no desire to do much, was coaxed and paid by the FBI for months, and then arrested for a plot which he could not have dreamed up on his own. The FBI has gone out of its way to emphasize that he saved up for months
Why is this likely the case? Because we do this over and over.
Remember the Liberty city 7? From wiki
[A] lot of show has been made about the militaristic boots that they had... [I]t turns out... the FBI bought them the boots. If you look at the indictment, the biggest piece of evidence... is that the group may have taken pictures of a bunch of targets in South Florida. But the guys couldn't afford their own cameras, so the federal government bought them the cameras... The federal government rented them the cars that they needed to get downtown in order to take the pictures. In addition... the men provided the FBI informant with a list of things they needed in order to blow up these buildings, but in the list they didn't include any explosives or any materials which could be used to make explosives. So now everyone in Liberty City is joking that the guys were going to kick down the FBI building with their new boots, because they didn't have any devices which could have been used to explode..
Here is another good one reagrding a terror plot from 2011. The FBI ended up offering the guy $250,000 after trying to get him to do something for 8 months.
On another occasion, Judge McMahon wrote: “There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that James Cromitie could never have dreamed up the scenario in which he actually became involved. And if by some chance he had, he would not have had the slightest idea how to make it happen.” She added that while “Cromitie, who was desperately poor, accepted meals and rent money from [the informant], he repeatedly backed away from his violent statements when it came time to act on them,” and that “only when the offers became outrageously high–and when Cromitie was particularly vulnerable to them, because he had lost his job–did he finally succumb.”
She nonetheless had no choice but to sentence him to 25 years:
The article above addresses the current case. And while likely biased as well brings up the point that what we are really prosecuting is speech. This all started because of some muslim tweets. Long read but apropos.
Unfortunately most citizens say...well he wanted to do something so lock him up.