A 68-year-old mechanical engineer has been charged in Texas with trying to sell a bomb to a foreign terrorist group.
Ronald A. Grecula, of Bangor, Pennsylvania, was arrested on May 20 in Houston during a meeting with undercover agents posing as terrorist operatives linked to Al Qaeda. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
Grecula allegedly told the undercover agents he has “no loyalty for America” and that he was willing to construct and sell a bomb to Al Qaeda or its affiliates to be used against Americans. According to the FBI, Grecula suggested possible targets such as Washington, D.C., the Federal Reserve bank in New York City and the Super Bowl.
According to court documents, on taped conversations Grecula made claims about implausible fusion superbombs involving ultraviolet light and hydrogen chlorine. However, during a search of his office in Upper Mount Bethel Township, authorities allegedly found lithium nitrate, which can be used in explosive devices, and a mercury switch, which could be used to trigger a bomb.
The investigation began after the FBI received a tip from a confidential source who had encountered Grecula in 2002 while Grecula was serving time in a Maltese jail for kidnapping his children from his estranged wife. According to prosecutors, the source told the FBI that Grecula had indicated he was looking for someone willing to pay for a bomb.
Grecula faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.