TerrorismUS News

Idaho man faces federal terrorism charge. Prosecutors say he planned a church attack to support IS



BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An 18-year-old man planned to attack churches in a northern Idaho city using a metal pipe, butane fuel, a machete and, if he could get them, his father’s guns, according to federal prosecutors who charged him with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

Authorities said Alexander Scott Mercurio adopted the Muslim faith against his Christian parents’ wishes and was in contact with FBI informants posing as Islamic State group supporters.

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Mercurio was arrested Saturday, the day before investigators believe he planned to carry out the attack. Phone messages left for a relative and for his defense attorneys at the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington & Idaho were not immediately returned Tuesday. Mercurio did not immediately respond to an email through a jail inmate email system.

Mercurio told one informant he intended to incapacitate his father with the pipe, handcuff him and steal his guns and a car to carry out the attack in Coeur d’Alene, according to an FBI agent’s sworn statement in the case unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court.