June 19 (UPI) -- Authorities arrested a Syrian man who allegedly plotted a terrorist attack on a Christian church in Pittsburgh last month, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.
Mustafa Musab Alowemer, 21, was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State, and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction in relation to his plan to carry out a bombing at the Pittsburgh church.
"Court documents show Mustafa Alowemer planned to attack a church in the name of ISIS, which could have killed many people," Michael McGarrity, assistant director of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, said, using an alternative abbreviation for the terror organization. "Fortunately, his plans were foiled by the full force of the FBI Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force."
The FBI Pittsburgh JTTF said Alowemer was motivated to set of an explosive device in the church to support the cause of IS, inspire other IS supporters in the United States to commit similar acts and to "take revenge for our brothers in Nigeria."
Alowemer, who was born in Syria and was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2016, communicated with an FBI employee he believed was a fellow IS supporter, with whom he shared documents related to constructing and using explosives and improvised explosive devices.
He also purchased multiple items with the intent of assembling explosives, requested a weapon with a silencer and provided the FBI agent with printed copies of Google satellite maps of the church with plans to carry out the attack.