I-Team: Las Vegas terror suspect had painting of Osama bin Laden on wall, various bomb-making components found in home


Police say man was 'in the process' of 'carrying out' terror attack

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro police detectives found artwork of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, components for explosive devices and other bomb-making materials inside a Las Vegas home last year, evidence obtained by the I-Team showed.

Police arrested Lacy Walthour, 27, in September 2020, but details of what police call a terror plot were not widely released until a ceremony to commend the investigators involved last week.

On Sept. 22, 2020, Walthour called 911 to report a person who was attempting to burglarize cars in his driveway at 3936 Cobble Creek Court. The call lasted only a few seconds and Walthour hung up.

A few minutes later, Walthour called 911 again, saying he had fired his gun at the suspect who ran out of the area.

Video shown to a grand jury shows Walthour standing in the driveway and aiming his gun at a person walking on the other side of the road.

“Neighborhood Watch! Neighborhood Watch!” Walthour screams to the man seconds before he fires his gun, investigators said.

“We’re going to send someone over there to talk to you. Make sure the gun is put away now, OK? A dispatcher later told Walthour in the second 911 call.

“Do they need to see it? Should I give it to them?” Walthour responded.

Lacy Walthour (KLAS)

“No. Just for now just keep it put away. But we’ll send someone over to contact you,” the dispatcher said. “They’re already in the area looking around, OK?”

Detectives entered the home to search for anyone who may be injured and to find the gun involved, they wrote in Walthour’s arrest report.

Inside, they found weapons and other materials they said could be used “in carrying out an ideologically motivated mass casualty attack.”

A painting of bin Laden hung on the wall. The artwork included the phrase, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” which was written in Arabic, police said.

Investigators also found a 3D print they said was being used to make gun parts and various components for incendiary explosive devices. An investigator wrote the IED components resembled “what foreign terrorist organizations used to target and kill U.S. and allied military personnel.”

Prosecutors showed this photo of Lacy Walthour’s garage to a grand jury. (KLAS)

Counter-terrorism detectives also found a composition notebook filled with recipes to make bombs and other homemade devices, they said,

On one page, investigators said Walthour wrote about “government unrest” and chemicals that would irritate a person’s eyes.

Other pages include scientific formulas, directions to make different kinds of bombs and a list of poisonous plants.

A photo of a painting of Osama bin Laden inside Lacy Walthour’s garage. The photo was shown to a grand jury. (KLAS)

Court records indicate Walthour was searching for a new lawyer. The state offered Walthour of plea deal of 15 years in prison, which he declined.

The I-Team filed a request to speak with Walthour from jail. He agreed only if 8 News Now paid him $5,000.

Walthour faces the following charges:

  • Attempted murder with the use of a deadly weapon
  • Discharging a firearm at or into an occupied structure (7 counts)
  • Discharging a firearm at or into an occupied vehicle
  • Manufacturing and/or possessing an explosive or incendiary device
  • Possession of an explosive or incendiary device in or near a public or private area
  • Possession of a component of an explosive or incendiary device with the intent to manufacture an explosive (15 counts)

There is no evidence presented to the grand jury or in Walthour’s arrest reports that indicate he was planning a specific event, though investigators said all signs show he was in the process of planning a terror attack.

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