Forsyth County terrorism suspect has been arrested before

Forsyth County terrorism suspect has been arrested before

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Forsyth County authorities became familiar with Hasher Taheb during his junior year of high school, years before the 21-year-old would be accused of plotting a terrorist attack against the White House, federal buildings and a synagogue.

That attack was planned for Thursday, according to a federal complaint. The alleged plot was thwarted on Wednesday evening when Taheb met with undercover FBI agents in Gwinnett County.

Since his arrest, Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr has been digging into his past to learn more about him.

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Taheb's first encounter with local authorities involved a habit neighbors told Channel 2 they often observed -- the then-teen's reckless driving through their Cumming subdivision.

A 2014 incident report details a neighbor telling authorities Taheb ran his leg over during a dispute about the teen’s driving.

The next year, deputies released Taheb and a friend to their mothers after complaints they’d filled a hallway full of smoke when they were caught with pipes and marijuana near a local Subway.

But a 2015 criminal trespassing case would land Taheb in the Forsyth County jail twice. Carr filed records requests on the cases. Officials in the Sheriff's and Solicitors offices told Carr that the incident reports and other case files were sealed. Taheb successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program in August of 2016. By state law, the terms of his program agreement and case details cannot be made public.

Taheb started the program soon after graduating from Forsyth Central High School.

On Thursday, his mother called authorities, requesting people stop knocking on her door. Another neighbor who did not want to be identified, said he worried that people reading stories about Taheb might harass the family and continue to drive through the subdivision.

Tannye Payne drove a few loops around the neighborhood Thursday afternoon. She lives nearby, but wanted to lay eyes on the area federal authorities were in less than a day earlier.

“It is scary, knowing he’s right here close to where you live,” Payne told Carr. “I’d be afraid he would do what he said he was gonna do, and I don’t wanna see nothin’ like that.”

Background on Wednesday's arrest

The FBI says Taheb's plot to attack the White House was elaborate.

Police were tipped off about Taheb in March 2018. The community member who reported him noted that Taheb had become radicalized, changed his name and made plans to travel abroad.

In December 2018, the complaint says Taheb met with an undercover agent and he showed the agent "a hand-drawn diagram of the ground floor of the West Wing of the White House" and "described his plan for attacking the West Wing."

A week later, he met with the undercover agent again and "broadened his prospective targets in the Washington, D.C. area and indicated he wished to attack the Washington Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and a specific synagogue."

Taheb also outlined the weapons he wanted to purchase during that meeting, which included semi-automatic weapons, improvised explosive devices, an anti-tank rocket and hand grenades.

After several meetings and messaging back and forth with the confidential source and undercover agent, the complaint said Taheb had planned on attacking the White House on Thursday.

Taheb explained that the group would attack the White House by approaching from the back road, causing a distraction for police, and then proceeding into the White House. According to Taheb, the (anti-tank rocket) would be used to open a door and move in. Taheb said he planned to get as many people as possible and do the most damage. Taheb specifically noted the areas where the Secret Service and Homeland Security operated in the White House."