HOUSTON - A Katy man is expected to appeared in federal court Friday to face several charges, including possession of explosive materials.
Robert James Talbot Jr., 38, was arrested Thursday following an eight-month undercover investigation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
Authorities allege Talbot wanted to recruit other "like-minded individuals" to blow up government buildings, rob banks and kill law enforcement officers.
According to the criminal complaint, Talbot created a Facebook page titled "American Insurgent Movement" (AIM), and described it as "a Pre-Constitutionalist Community that offers those who seek True patriotism and are looking for absolute Freedom by doing the Will of God. Who want to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed."
The criminal complaint also states Talbot made several postings on the page between Jan. 30 and Feb. 9, 2014, seeking people interested in "walking away from your life…to stop the regime."
According to the complaint, Talbot posted to the page on March 15 which read:
"In a few weeks me and my team are goin active for Operation Liberty…I will not be able to post no more. We will be the revolution, things will happen nation wide or in the states. They will call us many names and spin things around on media. Just remember we fight to stop Marxism, liberalism, Central banking Cartels and the New World Order. I will try to find someone to take over this community page, but most of the guys who are admins are part of my unit. I will have a website up in 2 months…The funding is unlimited since the banking cartel will be forced to fund our movements."
The complaint alleges Talbot sent $500 as a down payment for the explosive devices he had requested on March 22.
Then on March 27, the complaint states Talbot and others met at a storage facility in Houston with the intent to conduct an armor car robbery. Authorities allege Talbot provided detailed maps of the target bank, an escape route, and placed two explosive devices made of C4 into his black backpack to then be placed on the armor car.
Talbot was arrested on the way to conduct the robbery by the FBI Houston Division Special Weapons and Tactics team.
He is charged with attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"I believe this kid was as savvy or maybe more savvy than Timothy McVeigh, honestly I do. If he had a Terry Nichols with him, who knows what he would do?" said Terry Denny, who lived in the same boarding house as Talbot.
Denny said Talbot spent large amounts of time watching anti-government videos, and frequently talked about a cache of weapons stored in New York, although it was unclear Friday if that cache actually existed.
If convicted, authorities say Talbot faces up to a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a possible $250,000 fine for the attempted robbery, as well as another 10 years imprisonment and $100,000 fine for each of the remaining charges.
Talbot will spend the weekend in federal custody. He will see a judge on Tuesday.
Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force with their investigation, including personnel from the FBI, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Secret Service, Houston and Houston Metro Police Departments and the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
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