FBI arrests ISIS sympathizer accused of plotting to blow up Christian church

A Syrian refugee, suspected of planning to bomb a church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been arrested and charged with an try to present materials assist to the Islamic State and spreading manuals on explosives.

The suspect, recognized as 21-year-old Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, arrived within the US in August 2016. It is unclear if the person was radicalized whereas within the US or initially arrived within the guise of a refugee, however three years after setting foot on US soil, he devised a meticulous plan to assault a church on the North Side of Pittsburgh with an improvised explosive system, the US Department of Justice says.

Alowemer advised a fellow ISIS sympathizer, who was in truth an FBI agent, that he needed to avenge the killing of “our [ISIS] brothers in Nigeria” in addition to encourage different ISIS supporters to perform related assaults everywhere in the US. He gave the secret agent a doc titled “Beginners Course for Young Mujahedeen” and a handbook on how to construct a bomb to be utilized in an assault deliberate for July. The information contained detailed directions on how to construct Molotov cocktails, landmines, IEDs, sodium bombs and different probably lethal explosives.

He additionally offered the agent with satellite tv for pc photographs of the church and hand-written notes detailing escape and arrival routes. The Syrian allegedly deliberate to ship the timer-equipped bomb to the website in his backpack after which have his accomplices drive him to a mosque in order that they might be seen there after the explosion.

It took Alowemer at the very least three months to hone the small print of his nefarious plan, throughout which he met with the FBI agent, whom he believed to be his henchman, 4 instances. In late May or early June, Alowemer bought what he believed have been important components for the longer term bomb, together with nails, batteries, ice packs and nail polish remover. His closing assembly with the agent, through which he hoped to finalize the small print of the assault, was scheduled for June 19, the day he was arrested.

The goal of his thwarted assault was the Legacy International Worship Center, a small Christian church at 2131 Wilson Ave, which the suspect described as “Nigerian” in his recorded conversations with the secret agent.

“Alowemer was aware that numerous people in or around the Chruch could be killed by the explosion,” the prison grievance states.

Before nurturing a plot to blow up the church, he graduated from a neighborhood excessive faculty. While he arrived as a refugee, the failed bomber didn’t have everlasting resident standing, nor did he get hold of a US passport.

Alowemer got here onto regulation enforcement’s radar after he left a message in assist of the terrorist trigger on-line and later crossed paths with one other ISIS sympathizer who was already identified to the authorities. Prior to being successfully set up by the FBI, Alowemer was monitored for month. The authorities insist he has by no means posed a threat to public safety.

Alowemer will seem earlier than a decide on Friday to decide the situations of his detention.