Nov. 27 (UPI) -- New York police arrested a 40-year-old Brooklyn man Wednesday for allegedly encouraging supporters of the Islamic State to commit terrorist attacks and for distributing bomb-making instructions, according to officials.
Zachary Clark has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to IS, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and two counts of distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction, which also carries a maximum 20-year prison term, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.
According to the complaint, Clark, a resident of Brooklyn, disseminated IS propaganda, including calls for people to commit terrorist attacks in New York City, since at least March 2019 through encrypted chatrooms to people affiliated with, or attempted to be recruited to, the Islamic terrorist organization.
"The defendant allegedly provided instructions for how to plan attacks on U.S. soil, encouraging [IS] supporters to attack in well-populated locations," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a statement.
The complaint states that on or about Aug. 3, Clark invited an undercover agent to a pro-IS chatroom where the defendant allegedly posted "a series of highly detailed instructions regarding how to carry out a lone-wolf terrorist attack."
"The instructions address, among other things, how to select an attack target; how to conduct pre-operational surveillance; how to conduct operational planning and how to avoid attracting law enforcement attention while preparing for and conducting the attack," the complaint said.
In another pro-IS channel, one that Clark owned and consisted of 194 subscribers, the undercover agent saw that Clark had allegedly posted an image of the New York subway system and pages of instructions entitled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom," bomb-making instructions that had originally been published by al-Qaida, another Islamic terrorist organization, the Justice Department said.
In a third channel, the Justice Department said Clark posted a manual titled "Knife Attacks," which, among other instructions, specified which organs to target and that a knife attack's intention is to "attain a reasonable kill count" while causing "terror on the crusader citizens" through violence.
"As alleged, Clark championed his support for [IS], disseminated hate-filled messages via encrypted chatrooms and encouraged like-minded individuals to carry out vicious attacks in the name of jihad," said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. "While today's arrest reminds us that there are still people out there who embrace the idea of inflicting harm on others in this way, it also presents evidence of the dedication and resolve of the FBI's [Joint Terrorism Task Forces] here in New York who, along with our many partners, successfully confronts threats of this nature head-on, day in and day out."
Clark allegedly pledged alliance twice to IS, once to former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in July and then again in October to the terrorist's new leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Sashemi al-Qurayshi following Baghdadi's suicide death during a U.S. raid.