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Tags: fbi | arrest | isis | attack | idaho | church | teen

FBI Foils Idaho Church Attack by ISIS Sympathizer

By    |   Tuesday, 09 April 2024 11:59 AM EDT

The FBI arrested a man on Saturday who pledged his alliance to ISIS and planned to attack churches in Idaho.

Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, was charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to the Justice Department. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted the investigation, CNN reported.

Mercurio planned to attack churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Sunday “using weapons, including knives, firearms, and fire,” according to court documents cited by the Justice Department.

“Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, the defendant was taken into custody before he could act, and he is now charged with attempting to support ISIS’s mission of terror and violence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

Mercurio was inspired by the March massacre in Moscow that killed 144 people at a concert hall complex, according to a U.S. law enforcement official, CNN reported. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the Moscow massacre.

According to court documents, Mercurio had online and in-person meetings with a confidential source working with the FBI and “proceeded to express his support for terrorist organizations, specifically ISIS.”

Mercurio is accused of writing to an unnamed FBI source that he was set to "stop close by the church, equip the weapon(s) and storm the temple, killing as many people as possible," CBS News reported.

Days before the planned attack, he recorded a statement pledging his allegiance to ISIS, CNN reported.

His goal, according to investigators, was to carry out an act of martyrdom before the end of the holy month of Ramadan, CBS News reported.

"I am going to perform a martyrdom operation very soon," he allegedly wrote in one recent message. "The targets will be the various churches in my town."

Peter Malbin

Peter Malbin, a Newsmax writer, covers news and politics. He has 30 years of news experience, including for the New York Times, New York Post and Newsweek.com. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The FBI arrested a man on Saturday who pledged his alliance to ISIS and planned to attack churches in Idaho. Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, was charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to the ...
fbi, arrest, isis, attack, idaho, church, teen
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2024-59-09
Tuesday, 09 April 2024 11:59 AM
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