Deadly Church Attack Thwarted?


( – In what might be yet another sinister terrorist plan to attack Christian churches and worshipers, the FBI arrested a man because he was reportedly scheming to launch attacks on churches in Idaho while also declaring his allegiance to ISIS.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated that 18-year-old Alexander Scott Mercurio is facing charges for his attempt to support a foreign terrorist group recognized by the authorities. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force did an operation where Mercurio was arrested.

Mercurio had apparently outlined plans for assaults on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which intended to use an arsenal that included knives, guns, and incendiaries, based on court filings the DOJ showed.

After a devastating attack near Moscow in March, which resulted in 144 deaths at a concert venue, and both Russian and American officials were attributed to ISIS, it is believed Mercurio’s plans became more concrete.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the release, “As alleged in the complaint, the defendant swore an oath of loyalty to ISIS and planned to wage an attack in its name on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.”

Garland continued, “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.”

According to the court’s documents, Mercurio had both online and face-to-face discussions with a confidential informant working with the FBI, during which he admitted he supported terrorist groups, specifically ISIS.

He planned to attach a church on April 7 this year and aimed for it to precede the end of Ramadan, the FBI Task Force officer John Taylor said in a sworn statement.

Documents from the court detail that Mercurio had collected butane canisters and a metal pipe and had plans to both assault his father and obtain firearms for the attack.

Just days beforе the intended date, he recordеd a video swearing fidelity to ISIS while brandishing a knifе against the backdrop of an ISIS banner.

If found guilty, he could be sentencеd to up to 20 years in a federal pеnitentiary. For the moment, he is hеld and waiting for his first court date.

Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the FBI in Salt Lake City highlighted, “This case should be an eye-opener to the dangers of self-radicalization, which is a real threat to our communities.”

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