A 21-year-old Idaho man has been charged by federal authorities with attempting to assassinate President Obama, The New York Times reports.
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez is accused of firing an assault rifle at the White House, the story reports. Authorities say he told friends that Obama is the Antichrist and said he “needed to kill him,” the story says, citing the complaint filed in federal court.
The incident took place last week, and the search began focusing on Ortega-Hernandez after evidence turned up that allegedly linked him to a car that was found abandoned about seven blocks from the White House. Ortega-Hernandez was arrested Wednesday in Indiana and appeared today in a federal courthouse in Pittsburgh.
Ortega-Hernandez was “convinced the federal government is conspiring against him,” according to the complaint.
The Times piece adds: “Mr. Ortega-Hernandez — who is heavily tattooed, including the word ‘Israel’ on his neck — spoke briefly during the appearance, replying ‘yes, ma’am’ when asked by a magistrate judge if he understood that most of the legal proceedings would take place in Washington, according to The Associated Press.”
The story also reports: “The black Honda Accord with an Idaho license plate — which had been seen speeding away after gunshots were heard near the presidential mansion just after 9 p.m. that night — had a Romanian-made semiautomatic rifle inside. Mr. Obama was out of town at the time.”