Syrian Refugee Gets 17 Years For Plotting To Bomb Church To Avenge ISIS

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Syrian Refugee Gets 17 Years For Plotting To Bomb Church To Avenge ISIS

Micaela Burrow on November 9, 2022

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday sentenced a Syrian refugee living in Pennsylvania to 17 years in prison for conspiring to bomb a church, an act the man characterized as an act of revenge for the Islamic State.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 24, pleaded guilty in 2021 to one count of conspiring to materially support to the terrorist organization through his plot to blow up a Nigerian church in Pittsburgh, according to a DOJ statement, releasedWednesday. Alowemer stated he targeted the “Nigerian Christian” church to “take revenge for our [ISIS] brothers in Nigeria,” knowing that multiple people could be killed in the thwarted explosion.

Alowemer’s prosecution and incarceration serves to “protect the nation from terrorist threats,” DOJ Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in the statement. “We remain vigilant against those who would plot violent attacks on U.S. soil in furtherance of an extreme ideology.”

The FBI discovered Alowemer’s terrorist plot by impersonating an ISIS supporter in Pennsylvania whom Alowemer apparently supplied with instructions on how to construct an explosive device intended to encourage a terrorist attack, the DOJ notice reads. In 2019, Alowemer purchased items he believed were necessary to build a bomb with deliberate intent to detonate it near the church.

Alowemer met with the FBI agent or volunteer human source on multiple occasions, providing materials he would use to enact the bomb plot, including boxes of nails, copies of Google satellite maps marked with hand-drawn arrival and escape routes and a written 10-point plan, according to the press release. Law enforcement arrested Alowemer on June 19, 2019 at a meeting he arranged in the Pittsburgh, thinking the FBI agent or informant would assist with planning and coordination prior to the intended attack.

Alowemer, a native Syrian, fled to the U.S. in 2016 and did not hold a U.S. passport at the time of arrest, prosecutors claimed in a 2019 affidavit to the case.

“During his communications, Alowemer stated his support for ISIS, and his desire to answer the call for jihad or travel to conduct jihad,” prosecutors said.

He intended to inflict damage on the Legacy International Worship Center, a majority black church, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

While the Islamic State originated in Iraq and Syria, the focus of its operations has shifted to sub-Saharan Africa through its regional affiliates, including the Islamic State group in West Africa (ISWAP). Terrorist groups in Africa continue to strengthen, experts previously told The Daily Caller News Foundation, where Christians, especially in Nigeria, are a foremost target of brutal attacks that often leave tens or hundreds dead.

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Syrian Refugee Gets 17 Years For Plotting To Bomb Church To Avenge ISIS

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.