Pittsburgh Resident Arrested in ISIS-Inspired Plot to Attack Church
A Syrian refugee residing in Pittsburgh is accused of planning to attack a Christian church on behalf of ISIS, according to federal prosecutors. Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, was arrested on June 19 on charges of attempting to provide material support to the terrorist group and distributing information related to an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction. He is accused of planning to attack the Legacy International Worship Center (pictured) while working with an undercover FBI agent and informant he believed were supporters of ISIS. Prosecutors said he hoped to inspire others to commit similar acts. Alowemer bought bomb-making components and shared guides on how to build improvised explosive devices with the undercover agent. He provided the materials during a meeting June 11, where he also offered details about the plot, including maps, arrival and escape routes, and a handwritten note outlining how he would bring explosives to the church in a backpack. Prosecutors noted Alowemer wanted to carry out the attack in July in the middle of the night. He is also accused of pledging allegiance to ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, providing details on other potential targets, sharing propaganda, and requesting a weapon with a silencer through social media and messaging apps.
Spotswood Man Accused of Detonating Explosive Device Outside Apartment
A Spotswood (Middlesex County) man is suspected of setting off an explosive device outside an apartment where three people were sleeping on June 16. Anthony Fede, 52, ignited an explosive device on the bedroom window of one of the units at the complex in Jamesburg (Middlesex County), where it detonated and resulted in two people experiencing loss of hearing and a woman suffering an arm injury. Jamesburg police said they recognized Fede as the suspect while reviewing video of the incident and arrested him near his home the next day. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said police seized several boxes of fireworks, drugs and paraphernalia, and clothing seen in the video when they search Fede’s home. He is charged with two counts of aggravated arson, three counts of aggravated assault, possession of an explosive device for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of an explosive device, criminal mischief, possession of a destructive device, and possession of explosives for an unlawful purpose, as well as multiple drug offenses.
California Man Pleads Not Guilty to Charges He Planned to Kill Jews, Police
A California man accused of posting anti-Semitic comments online that included threats targeting Jews and law enforcement pleaded not guilty June 17. Police said the FBI followed up on a tip to discover comments from Ross Farca, 23, of Concord, in an online chat room. He reportedly wanted to “get a body count of like 30 [Jews] and then like five police officers” in an attack against a synagogue. He is also accused of drawing inspiration from the suspected gunmen in the Christchurch mosque and Poway synagogue shootings and referencing Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Authorities discovered an illegally assembled semi-automatic rifle, high-capacity magazines, a sword, and Nazi literature in a search of his home. Farca is charged with criminal threats, possession of an unlawful assault weapon, and unlawfully manufacturing an assault weapon.