Place of Birth: Pennsylvania, United States;
Nationality: American, Syrian;
Mustafa Mousab Alowemer of Pittsburgh pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State in relation to his plan to attack a church in Pittsburgh.
Alowemer is a Syrian refugee who graduated from Pittsburgh Brashear High School in 2019.
Alowemer is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (Islamic State), and two counts of distribution of information relating to explosives devices or weapons of mass destruction.
His stated motivation to conduct such an attack was to support the cause of Islamic State and to inspire other Islamic State supporters in the United States to join together and commit similar acts in the name of Islamic State terrorist group.
Alowemer also targeted the church to “take revenge for our (Islamic State) brothers in Nigeria.”
In furtherance of the plot to bomb the church, in May 2019, Alowemer distributed multiple instructional documents related to the construction and use of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to an individual Alowemer believed to be a fellow Islamic State supporter, but who was in fact an FBI employee.
Alowemer distributed these documents with the intent that the information be used in the assembly of a destructive device and in furtherance of conducting an attack in support of the Islamic State.
In or around June 2019, Alowemer purchased several items, including nails and acetone (nail polish remover) with the belief that they were necessary to assemble a destructive device and with the intention they be used to construct the explosives that would be detonated in the vicinity of the church.
Between April 16 and June 11, Alowemer met four times in person with an FBI Undercover Employee (UCE) and/or an FBI Confidential Human Source (CHS).
At the June 11 meeting with the UCE and CHS, Alowemer provided additional details about the bomb plot and provided the materials, including boxes of nails, he had purchased for construction of the device.
Alowemer provided printed copies of detailed Google satellite maps, which included hand-written markings identifying the church and routes of arrival and escape.
He also wrote and provided a 10-point handwritten plan outlining details related to his plot to personally deliver explosives in a backpack.
Alowemer expressed a desire to meet one more time to conduct planning and coordination prior to carrying out the attempted bombing in July 2019.
That meeting was later scheduled for June 19 in the Pittsburgh area, at which time Alowemer was arrested.
Alowemer is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 26, 2022. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, or both, and a lifetime term of supervised release.
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