Target customers in the Syracuse area are breathing a sigh of relief following news that a bomb plot was foiled. Mark Barnett, 48 of Ocala, Fla., is now in custody. Our Iris St. Meran tells us more about what Barnett had planned and how shoppers are reacting to the news.
The plan was to plant bombs in Target stores along the east coast, starting in the Syracuse area. Mark Barnett, the accused mastermind behind the plan, was arrested before anything could happen.
"It's scary to think that somebody would actually do something like this. It's scary in the aspect that so many people come here on a daily basis," said Target employee Cory Rake.
According to a criminal complaint, 10 bombs were made and were handed off to be placed in stores. Barnett paid a man working for him to deliver the bombs in Florida and other states, but that man went to the authorities instead. Barnett's intention was to get Target's stock prices to drop, so that he could purchase shares at a lower price.
"It's nerve-wracking sometimes, because it could happen anywhere, any time," said customer John O’Connor.
Barnett was taken into custody on Valentine's Day and charged with the federal offense of possession of a destructive device and affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon. Barnett is a registered sex offender on probation for several felonies, including kidnapping, sexual battery and grand theft.
O’Connor added that, while the news is shocking, he's not going to let it impact his life or where he shops.
"Live your life,” O’Connor said. “You can't go into a shell. Whatever happens, you have no control over most of it. You know, be aware, pay attention to what's going on around you. You know you see some things every day living in your neighborhood. The overall big picture, you just can't hide."
If convicted, Barnett could face 10 years in prison for this latest charge.