As the unpaid bills began to mount, it appears the former owner of this Pakistani restaurant in Hanover, Khalil Ahmad, suddenly started daily visits to Ashley Choi's hair salon two doors down to make unwanted advances towards its owner.
"He was a very weird guy,” said Choi, “It's nice, but he has a very weird way. Sometimes I was in the back chair and he just walked all the way back. No one was here."
Little did Choi know that Ahmad was married much less that his impending divorce was allegedly driving him to commit desperate acts.
According to a criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Baltimore, Ahmad feared financial ruin and met with a potential hitman, initially seeking to have her killed, but ultimately settling on having her arrested as a terrorist.
To that end, he allegedly wanted the person to plant a ballistic vest, a firearm, bottles of alcohol and extremist jihad writings in her possession without her knowledge.
Ahmad also wanted someone to burn down his restaurant and make it look like an accident so he could collect on the insurance money.
"He didn't pay the rent so they had to kick him out of the place. That's all I heard," said Choi.
Fortunately, someone tipped off the Anne Arundel County Police, who then notified the FBI and much of the attempt to bring down his wife and his business was captured on surveillance cameras.
According to agents, Ahmad even made a down payment of $5,000 to get the job done.
Cash for his criminal plot at a time when his debtors were lining up in court to take him for what he was worth and more.
"Just knowing those, it made me uncomfortable,” said Choi, “So I just didn't want to see him anymore."