CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal judge on Monday again delayed court proceedings for a man accused of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol in support of Islamic State extremists.
Christopher Lee Cornell, who's from the Cincinnati area, has pleaded not guilty to four counts, including attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees.
U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith ordered a Nov. 10 status and scheduling conference. She pushed back proceedings after hearing Monday from prosecutors and defense attorneys.
The judge wrote that both sides are deciding on expert witnesses and reviewing potential evidence in a case that involves classified information.
"The Court finds that this case is unusual and complex due to the nature of the prosecution and the existence of novel questions of fact or law," she wrote.
She also noted the superseding indictment issued last month. It added the fourth charge, alleging Cornell offered support and resources, including himself, to Islamic State extremists.
Cornell has been held without bond since his Jan. 14 arrest. The FBI said he had just bought two M-15 assault weapons and 600 rounds of ammunition from a suburban Cincinnati gun shop.
The FBI has said Cornell, who uses the Muslim name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, wanted to "wage jihad" by attacking the Capitol with pipe bombs and shooting government officials and employees.
Cornell, 21, later told Cincinnati TV station WXIX he wanted to go to Washington and shoot President Barack Obama in the head. His father has said he was misled and coerced by "a snitch."
Counterterrorism authorities have been on alert for homegrown lone wolves who might be plotting terrorist acts.
Charges against Cornell of attempted murder of U.S. officials and employees and of solicitation to commit a crime of violence carry potential 20-year prison sentences, while the count of supporting a foreign terrorist organization has a potential 15-year sentence with conviction. Cornell also faces a firearms-related charge carrying a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison.
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