Syrian Refugee Arrested in Plot to Blow up Church on Behalf of ISIS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday morning arrested a Syrian refugee who planned to blow up a Pittsburgh church on behalf of the Islamic State.

“Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, who came to the U.S. in 2016 and recently graduated from a city high school, was arrested Wednesday morning by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force,” according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

A criminal complaint reportedly said that Alowemer wanted to support ISIS and inspire others to commit similar lone wolf style attacks.

“He is charged with one count of attempting to provide support to the Islamic State and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive device in connection with the bomb plot,” the report said.

The FBI said that Alowemer communicated with an undercover agent about making a bomb, the report said. He also met with an undercover agent in person four times in the period of two months, between April and June. He reportedly bought several items this month, including 9-volt batteries, acetone, ice packs, and nails thought to be components for compiling a pipe bomb.

According to The Post-Gazette:

The U.S. attorney’s office said he used social networking sites and mobile messenger apps to communicate with the Islamic State supporter and expressed his desire to “answer the call” for jihad. He also distributed propaganda material, offered to provide other targets in Pittsburgh, requested a weapon with a silencer and recorded a video of himself pledging an oath to the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.


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