Mustafa Mousab Alowemer was arrested by federal agents after it was discovered that the 21-year-old Syrian refugee was planning a terrorist attack at a Christian church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to a federal complaint, Alowemer was planning to carry out the attack on behalf of ISIS.
As a result, Alowemer has been charged with one count of providing material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction.
Alowemer had purchased various materials to use in the making of the bomb which was going to target Legacy International Worship Center on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
“Every day investigators and prosecutors work tirelessly behind the scenes to disrupt terrorist activity and keep our community safe. While the public does not always see the results of the hard work of these dedicated men and women, this case is a visible demonstration of our commitment to rooting out terrorists and bringing them to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady for the Western District of Pennsylvania in a statement.
Assistant Attorney General John Demers added: “Targeting places of worship is beyond the pale, no matter what the motivation. The defendant is alleged to have plotted just such an attack of a church in Pittsburgh in the name of ISIS,” via NBC News.
The FBI was tipped off when Alowemer provided satellite images of the Legacy International Worship Center along with his plans and instructions for the bombs he intended to make.
Two of the documents Alowemer provided to FBI agents which provided further direction on how to make explosives were titled “Beginners Course for Young Mujahedeen” and “The Extraction of Potassium Nitrate from Goat Manure and Other Methods.”
Alowemer had also recorded a video where he pledged his allegiance to ISIS.
The good news for locals in Pittsburgh, however, is that Alowemer was not believed to be a danger to the public because he had been under surveillance for months.