Elizabeth Lecron of Toledo, Ohio, was arrested on Monday after a months-long investigation by the Northwest Ohio Terrorism Joint Task Force as she allegedly planned pipe bomb attacks against multiple targets in the Toledo area and elsewhere.
An unidentified member of the public tipped off law enforcement of Lecron's plans, and authorities tracked her activity over several months, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato.
Lecron expressed fascination with mass killings and idolized the shooters at Columbine, Fortunato said. She allegedly exchanged letters with Dylann Roof, who is awaiting execution in Indiana for killing nine members of a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The FBI says Lecron talked about a number of targets including a pipeline in Georgia and her employer which she accused of polluting a river near its property. She also talked about targeting a bar in Toledo in what she described as an "upscale mass murder," according to Fortunato.
She was arrested after she bought two pounds of gunpowder and several pounds of screws, materials that could have been used in the production of pipe bombs. In searching her apartment, authorities found an AK-47, a shotgun, handguns and caps that can be used to construct a pipe bomb. Authorities also found a journal with entries about committing acts of violence.
The office of the US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio announced Lecron’s arrest in conjunction with the arrest of Damon Joseph of Holland, Ohio, who allegedly plotted an attack on two synagogues. The FBI says Joseph had converted to Islam and professed allegiance to ISIS.
U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said that the two cases showed that "terrorists don't follow one playbook" and have different motivations.
If convicted, Lecron faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
In her initial court appearance Monday, Lecron waived a preliminary hearing.
This is a developing news story. We will continue to update as details become available.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Lecron was arrested on Saturday. She was arrested on Monday.