man sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for trying to provide material support to the Islamic State | Takeover bid

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced yesterday to 208 months, more than 17 years, in federal prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al -Sham, aka ISIS, a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 24, of Pittsburgh, pleaded guilty in the Western District of Pennsylvania on September 16, 2021 to attempting to provide material support to ISIS as part of its plan to attack a church in Pittsburgh.

“Alowemer has admitted planning a deadly attack on a Pittsburgh church on behalf of ISIS,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The National Security Division was created to protect the nation from terrorist threats and we remain vigilant against those who would plot violent attacks on American soil as part of an extreme ideology.”

“The defendant’s plan to bomb a Pittsburgh church and risk death or injury to area residents in the name of ISIS was thwarted by the extraordinary work of the Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force,” the statement said. US Attorney Cindy K. Chung for the Western District. of Pennsylvania. “Our office will continue to hold accountable those who threaten the safety of our communities.”

“I would like to commend the excellent work of our Joint Terrorism Task Force, as well as that of their partners and sources, in successfully thwarting a planned terrorist attack in the name of ISIS,” the deputy director said. Robert R. Wells of the FBI Counterterrorism Division. “Alowemer’s plan to carry out an attack on a church in Pittsburgh and inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States failed thanks to the efforts of federal and state law enforcement officials. . This conviction demonstrates the commitment we share with our partners to prosecute those who violate our laws and seek to harm innocent people in our communities.

According to court documents, Alowemer conspired to bomb a church on the north side of Pittsburgh with an explosive device. His stated motivation for carrying out such an attack was to support the cause of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States to unite and carry out similar acts in the name of ISIS. Islamic State. Alowemer also targeted the church, which he described as a “Nigerian Christian” church, to “take revenge on our [ISIS] brothers in Nigeria. Alowemer was aware that many people near the church could be killed by the blast.

As part of the plot to bomb the church, in May 2019, Alowemer distributed several instructional materials related to the construction and use of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to an individual whom Alowemer thought he was another ISIS supporter, but was actually an FBI employee. Alowemer distributed these documents with the intention that the information be used in the assembly of a destructive device and in the pursuit of an attack in support of ISIS. In or around June 2019, Alowemer purchased several items, including nails and acetone (nail polish remover), with the belief that they were needed to assemble a destructive device and with the intention that they are used to make the explosives that would explode in the vicinity of the church.

Between April 16 and June 11, Alowemer met four times in person with an undercover FBI employee (UCE) and/or an FBI Confidential Human Source (CHS). At the June 11 meeting with UCE and CHS, Alowemer provided additional details about the bomb plot and provided the materials, including boxes of nails, he had purchased for the construction of the ‘device. Alowemer provided printed copies of detailed satellite maps from Google, which included handwritten marks identifying the church and arrival and flight routes. Alowemer also wrote and provided a handwritten 10-point plan outlining the details of his plot to personally deliver explosives in a backpack. Alowemer expressed a desire to meet once more to do the planning and coordination before proceeding with the attempted bombing in July 2019. This meeting was then scheduled for June 19 in the Pittsburgh area , at which time Alowemer was arrested.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Attorneys Brenda Sue Thornton and S. Elisa Poteat of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are pursuing this case on behalf of the government.

Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force who were directly involved in this investigation include: FBI, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), Homeland Security (HSI), IRS – Criminal Investigation, US Secret Service, US Postal Inspection Service, Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Police Department, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Allegheny County Port Authority Police, Allegheny County Probation, University of Pittsburgh Police Department and UPMC Police Security.

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