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Idaho man accused of planning church assaults in help of ISIS pleads not responsible

Idaho man accused of planning church assaults in help of ISIS pleads not responsible

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — The 18-year-old accused of pledging allegiance to ISIS and planning assaults towards church buildings in Idaho pleaded not responsible Wednesday to a federal terrorism cost, in accordance with the courtroom docket.

Alexander Scott Mercurio pleaded not responsible to making an attempt to supply materials help or assets to a chosen overseas terrorist group throughout a courtroom look Wednesday, the docket reveals.

The FBI arrested Mercurio Saturday – the day earlier than authorities say he deliberate to assault a church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, utilizing “flame-covered weapons, explosives, knives, a machete, a pipe, and finally firearms.”

A jury trial is scheduled for Might 28, whereas a pretrial convention within the case is ready for Might 14, in accordance with the docket. The Justice Division stated in a information launch Monday that he faces a most penalty of 20 years in federal jail if convicted.

CNN has reached out to Mercurio’s lawyer for remark.

In accordance with courtroom paperwork, Mercurio had on-line and in-person conferences with a confidential supply working with the FBI and “proceeded to specific his help for terrorist organizations, particularly ISIS.”

He deliberate to assault a church on April 7, a date he chosen in order that it could happen earlier than the conclusion of Ramadan, FBI Process Pressure officer John Taylor stated in an affidavit.

Mercurio allegedly introduced butane canisters and a metallic pipe, and he deliberate to “hurt his father and purchase firearms” to make use of within the assault, in accordance with courtroom paperwork. Days earlier than the deliberate assault, he recorded a press release pledging his allegiance to ISIS.

Throughout a search of his mother and father’ residence, police discovered “objects constant along with his deliberate assault,” courtroom paperwork said. Among the objects present in a toolbox included a “metallic pipe, handcuffs, folding noticed, head coverings, two cannisters of butane gasoline, and machete.” A number of rifles and handguns had been additionally found in his father’s bed room.

Mercurio “said he supposed to incapacitate his father with a pipe, handcuff him, and use the firearms locked within the closet to assault the church,” courtroom paperwork say.

A U.S. legislation enforcement official beforehand informed CNN that investigators believed Mercurio’s alleged efforts to hold out an assault intensified following the March assault that killed 144 folks at a live performance corridor advanced close to Moscow. U.S. officers have tied the assault to ISIS-Okay, an affiliate that operates in central Asia and has turn out to be one of many area’s most brutal and feared terror teams.

Contributing: Rashard Rose and Melissa Alonso

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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