Boston police captain’s son gets 20 years for plotting ISIS-inspired terrorist attack
Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
The son of a Boston police captain was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday for plotting an Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired terror attack after pleading guilty for the same in May.
Alexander Ciccolo, who went by the name Ali Al Amriki, dealt with mental health issues and substance abuse problems, his lawyers said, who added the plans made by the 26-year-old were poorly thought out and he did not have the ability to carry out the attack either.
Robert Ciccolo, his father, tipped off the FBI after noting his son admired the terrorist group to an obsessive level.
Authorities said Alexander was a loyal ISIS supporter who was devoted to inflicting as much damage as possible upon the United States.
“Make no mistake, Alexander Ciccolo was a committed soldier of ISIS who wanted to kill innocent people at a United States university with assault rifles and pressure cooker bombs, not an unwitting dupe who didn’t understand the gravity of what he was doing,” Hank Shaw, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, said.
Alexander was arrested in July 2015 through a sting operation. He accepted four guns — a Colt AR-15 .223 caliber rifle, a SigArms Model SG550-1 556 rifle, a Glock 17-9 mm pistol, and a Glock 20-10 mm pistol — from a person who was cooperating with the FBI, the federal prosecutor’s statement said. Having been convicted before for a crime punishable by more than a year in jail, Alexander was prohibited from carrying firearms.
He was also recorded talking about plans that involved filling pressure cookers with black powder, nails and ball bearings, the statement added. Officers also found Molotov cocktails in his apartment.
Prosecutors said Alexander was seen buying a pressure cooker, shortly before he was arrested, as part of his plan to make homemade bombs similar to the ones used in 2013 Boston Marathon attack.
“Alexander Ciccolo planned to kill innocent civilians in the United States on ISIS’s behalf,” prosecutor Andrew Lelling said in the statement. “Even though he was born and spent most of his life in Massachusetts, Ciccolo decided to turn against his country and plotted to attack his fellow Americans.”
A month before he was set to go to trial, he pleaded guilty for attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, possessing firearms, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, among other charges. He also stabbed a nurse 10 times in the head during a jail intake process, reports said.
“The National Security Division will not tolerate threats to our country and its people,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.
Alexander’s father was a policeman who oversaw more than two dozen officers during the Boston Marathon Bombings. Robert, who had 35 years of experience in state and local law enforcement and private organizations, tipped off the FBI as he was worried his son would do something impulsive due to his obsession.
“The government recognizes that Captain Ciccolo’s decision to come forward was heartbreaking,” federal prosecutors said, acknowledging the captain’s hardship in tipping off authorities against his own son. They said his decision “likely saved the lives of numerous innocent people.”
“Obviously, he struggled with [his son], and he couldn’t set him straight,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in 2015. “Maybe now getting locked up was the best thing. Maybe he’ll get the proper medical care he needs.”