The FBI has arrested a Cleveland man on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on the Fourth of July independence holiday, bureau officials say.

Demetrius Pitts, who was arrested on Sunday, has been monitored by the FBI since 2017 for “disturbing” Facebook posts supporting al-Qaeda militants.

FBI special agent Steve Anthony, the head of the agency’s Cleveland office, said during a news conference on Monday that Mr Pitts had continually made “statements of violent intentions” and “expressed willingness to conduct a US based attack” for al-Qaeda.

Mr Pitts – also known as Abdur Raheem Rahfeeq – discussed his hatred for the military, “wanting to chop off heads and hands”, and a desire to commit a future attack in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to the FBI.

On social media, Mr Pitts had been showing a “desire to commit violence against the United States”, making comments including, “we need to know how to shoot guns”, Mr Anthony said.

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