PITTSBURGH — A Syrian man has been arrested by the FBI in Pittsburgh for allegedly plotting an attack on a local church.
Federal authorities said Mustafa Mousab Alowemer planned to bomb the Legacy International Worship Center on Wilson Avenue in Pittsburgh's Perry South neighborhood.
He identified the church as Christian and Nigerian, and said he targeted it to "take revenge for our [ISIS] brothers in Nigeria."
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Police and federal agents spent the entire day Wednesday at the Northview Heights housing complex.
Here is what we know about him so far:
- Twenty-one years old
- Born in 1998 in Daraa, Syria
- Just graduated from Brashear High School in Pittsburgh Public Schools on June 8
- He was admitted to the United States as a refugee Aug. 1, 2016
- Earlier this month, he allegedly bought items needed to construct bombs, including acetone, 9-volt batteries, ice packs and nails.
- From April 16 to June 11, He met four times in person with someone working undercover for the FBI where he gave details about the bomb plot and two printed copies of Google satellite maps, which included handwritten markings identifying the church and routes where people could arrive and escape, according to investigators
- He also wrote and provided a 10-point handwritten plan outlining details related to his plot to personally deliver explosives in a backpack, according to the complaint.
- He said he planned to deliver the bomb in a backpack for an attack in July.
- He was arrested and charged with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources for ISIS and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction.
- Last year, he began contacting a woman who pledged herself as an ISIS supporter. She allegedly shared information on social media about how to make explosives and biological weapons. Earlier this year, the woman pleaded guilty in federal court in Wisconsin to providing material support to ISIS.
- Lived in a home at Northview Heights with his parents, two brothers and a sisters. Neighbors tell Channel 11 he was the oldest sibling.
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