Moroccan tried to bomb buildings with model airplanes, feds say - CBS 5 - KPHO

Moroccan tried to bomb buildings with model airplanes, feds say

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El Mehdi Semlali Fahti faces federal charges of trying to blow up two buildings with model airplanes. El Mehdi Semlali Fahti faces federal charges of trying to blow up two buildings with model airplanes.
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

A Moroccan national living in Bridgeport was planning to bomb two buildings using a radio-controlled airplane, according to federal investigators.

El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 26, was arrested Monday.

His roommate, who did not want to be identified, told Eyewitness News that Fahti was a very quiet man. Fahti's room contained a small bed, scattered cloths, a Koran and a plastic chair.

"He did not have no place to go, and that's why he used to stay here," the roommate explained.

Court documents said federal agents recorded Fahti on several occasions talking about using a radio-controlled model airplane to bomb a federal courthouse in Connecticut and a school in another state.

"The guy was secluded, he was quiet," said Lucas Leite, a neighbor. "He didn't really try to talking to anyone, he didn't approach anyone."

The documents said Fahti had an issue with being sent back to Morocco after he was arrested in Virginia for trespassing at his college, the Virginia International University.

Officials said he lied to immigration to stop his deportation. He said he would be persecuted in Morocco because he was a member of an anti-government group and was arrested there.

The FBI said it launched an investigation in January after it got wind of the bomb threats. It said Fahti "would use airplanes, possibly toy planes, to execute the bombing."

Agents also said "Fahti is heard being asked about pliers, a cutter and wires in his bedroom. Fahti claimed in the recording that the materials were for a bomb."

Fahti's roommate and neighbor said they couldn't believe the charges.

"You live with somebody trying to kill people," the roommate said. "You know that's crazy."

"You don't even imagine this even happening," Leite said. "This is a very quiet neighborhood."

Officials said some items were seized in the apartment and the suspect appeared in federal court Monday.

As of Tuesday night, Fahti was held in federal custody.

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