Authorities arrested a U.S. Army soldier on terror charges after he spoke online about plots to bomb New York City's 9/11 Memorial and other U.S. landmarks, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported Wednesday.
Based on a criminal complaint, Cole Bridges, 20, discussed the attacks online in October with a covert employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who posed as a member of the Islamic State terror group.
Bridges, also known as Cole Gonzales, was arrested Tuesday in Georgia on charges of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and attempting to murder U.S. servicemen in the Middle East, the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York said in a statement.
"Bridges, a private in the U.S. Army, betrayed our country and his unit when he plotted with someone he believed was an ISIS sympathizer to help the terror group attack and kill U.S. soldiers in the Middle East," William F. Sweeney Jr., director of New York City's FBI office, said.
According to prosecutors, Bridges offered to share Army training materials and even recorded a video of himself in full body armor in front of an ISIS flag. He also provided tips on U.S. military maneuvers and the most effective way to fortify a terrorist encampment in the Middle East, prosecutors said.
In one instance, Bridges told the FBI employee how to wire some ISIS buildings with explosives to kill U.S. troops, according to a statement.
Authorities said the "accused traitor," who faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, expressed his support for ISIS and jihad on social media before he started communicating with the FBI employee.
"Fortunately, the person with whom Bridges communicated was an FBI employee, and we were able to prevent his evil desires from coming to fruition," Sweeney Jr said.
Bridges was assigned as a cavalry scout at Fort Stewart in Georgia and was a member of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. He is set to attend federal court hearing in Georgia on Thursday.