The suspect, identified as 48-year-old Demetrius Nathaniel Pitts of Maple Heights Ohio, was arrested in Cleveland over the weekend, the FBI said. The plot involved detonating a bomb on Independence Day.
FBI charging documents reveal Pitts discussed possibly traveling to San Francisco to "conduct additional targeting and reconnaissance."
VIDEO: FBI discusses arrest in connection to terror attack planned for Fourth of July in Cleveland
During a press conference Monday, FBI officials said the "suspect expressed interest in chopping off heads and hands and disposing of bodies."
He allegedly told an undercover agent that he wanted to blow up a Fourth of July parade in downtown Cleveland.
"And I'm gonna be downtown when the - when the thing go off. I'm gonna be somewhere cuz I wanna see it go off," Pitts told the agent.
Authorities said he actively conducted surveillance in downtown Cleveland, looked for a parking spot for a van packed with explosives and also expressed a desire to give remote control cars packed with explosives and shrapnel to children of military personnel.
Pitts was arrested for attempted material support of a foreign terrorist organization, specifically al-Qaeda. The investigation began in 2017 after the FBI received tips alleging Pitts had been making disturbing comments online.
Pitts, a U.S. citizen, is expected to face a judge sometime on Monday. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.