Here's why Cornell is being held at the Butler County jail

Published: Jan. 15, 2015 at 3:18 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 16, 2015 at 9:23 AM EST
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Christopher Cornell (FOX19 NOW/file)
Christopher Cornell (FOX19 NOW/file)
Federal prisoners are held at the Butler County jail. (FOX19 NOW/Miranda Del Pozo)
Federal prisoners are held at the Butler County jail. (FOX19 NOW/Miranda Del Pozo)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - The local man facing facing federal charges over an alleged plot to blow up the U.S. Capitol and shoot employees inside the building is isolated in his own cell and under extra watch at the Butler County Jail.

Christopher Cornell, 20, is held without bond on federal charges of attempted killing of a U.S. government official and possession of a firearm in furtherance of attempted crime of violence.

"He's a special prisoner," said Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones. "He's special and he's very important to our government. That means he gets special treatment. He gets lots of attention and we help the government with anything they need."

Cornell is one of more than 200 federal prisoners jail and among a total of nearly 1,000 prisoners.

Butler County is one of two local jails that house federal prisoners; Boone County is the other.

Cornell will be moved from the jail in Hamilton at some point Friday for in federal court hearing at 1:30 p.m. in downtown Cincinnati.

The Oak Hills High School graduate is accused of creating a Twitter account under the alias of Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah last summer. That's where he posted videos and statements supporting ISIS and violent jihad in North America.

A confidential FBI source began contacting Cornell in August. Cornell responded via instant message that he had been touch with individuals overseas, but he did not believe that he would receive authorization to conduct a terrorist attack in the United States.

Cornell told the informant that they should go on with the attack.

"I believe that we should just wage jihad under our own orders and plan an attack," Cornell said to the informant.

The sheriff said the case shows there are no boundaries when it comes to terror. He took to his Twitter account Thursday to urge the public to be "vigilant to what u see or here (sic) around you." He also Tweeted: "Anything that u c (sic) on social media that talks about doing harm to a person or our country should b (sic) reported to the police."

"This guy went to a regular school," the sheriff told FOX19 NOW. "He's a regular guy and these are the people who will do bizarre things like these school shootings," he said. "You can never underestimate what these people are doing. This guy made a mistake and you'll find out what that mistake was in court, but we are very fortunate the FBI got him."

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