The Boston Globe reports that a man from Western Massachusetts will be pleading guilty to federal charges in a terror plot to attack a state university. The plan was to attack with guns and explosives in the name of an Islamic State terror group.
Alexander Ciccolo, who is in his 20s, is scheduled to enter his plea in court on May 21. His charges include providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, says The Globe.
Ciccolo is from Adams and was arrested in 2015. His father, a police captain in Boston, alerted the FBI about his son’s desire to fight for the Islamic State.
After receiving the tip from his father, the FBI discovered that Ciccolo was maintaining a Facebook profile under the name “Ali Al Amriki,” expressing interest in martyrdom and fighting for the terrorist group.
FBI agents arranged for a cooperating witness to meet with Ciccolo, and he told this witness he wanted to attack bars and a police station in another state using microwave and pressure cooker bombs.
During another meeting with the witness, Ciccolo stated he wanted to attack a state university due to the number of people there. He also stated he would allow Muslim students to decide whether they wanted to help him or leave.
Ciccolo later discussed attacking a bar advertising a celebration on the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow gay marriage. He then purchased pressure cookers the following day. On July 4, 2015, the witness gave Ciccolo firearms and he was arrested on the way back to his apartment.
When police searched his apartment, they found Molotov cocktails, two machetes and other knives. He agreed to talk to agents after his arrest, but would not discuss the guns with them. He did affirm his support for ISIL during his FBI talks, however.
*Photo credit Northern Berkshire District Court/AP