Syrian Refugee Supporting ISIS Face 17 Years Imprisonment Over Plot To Bomb Nigeria Church in USA
Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, a 24-year-old Syrian American, was found guilty of supporting the dreaded terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and planning to bomb a Nigerian church in Pittsburgh. He was sentenced to over 17 years (208 months) in federal prison by a Pennsylvania court.
Alowemer arrived in the United States in 2016 after fleeing Syria as a refugee.
According to the US Department of Justice, Alowemer entered a guilty plea on September 16, 2021, in the Western District of Pennsylvania, to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS in connection with his scheme to attack the “Nigerian Christian Church,” a Nigerian church in Pittsburgh.
According to a statement by Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, “Alowemer admitted to preparing a devastating explosion of a Pittsburgh church in the name of ISIS.”
The National Security Division was established to defend the country against terrorist threats, and we continue to be alert against those who would plan deadly actions on American territory to advance an extremist ideology, the speaker said.
The Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force’s outstanding work prevented the defendant’s plan to bomb a Pittsburgh church and put local residents at risk of death or injury in the name of ISIS, according to Cindy K. Chung, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania. She also stated that “Our office will continue to hold accountable individuals who threaten the safety of our communities.”
According to court records, Alowemer planned to use explosives to bomb the Nigerian church on Pittsburgh’s North Side.
In a statement, the US Justice Department stated that Alowemer’s objective for carrying out the action was to aid ISIS and to encourage other ISIS supporters in the US to band together and carry out similar acts in favor of ISIS.
In order to “take retribution for our [ISIS] brethren in Nigeria,” Alowemer also targeted a church.
According to the statement, Alowemer transmitted numerous instructional manuals on how to make and utilize explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to a person he thought was another follower of ISIS but who was actually an FBI agent in May 2019 as part of the plan to destroy the church.
He disseminated the materials with the intention that they would be used to build a destructive device and further the planning of an attack to support ISIS in the summer of 2019.
In the notion that they were required to put together a destructive device and with the aim that they would be used to make the explosives that would be detonated close to the church, he bought a number of things, including nails and acetone (nail polish remover).
The declaration went on to say that between April 16 and June 11, Alowemer met with an FBI Undercover Employee (UCE) and/or a Confidential Human Source four times in person (CHS).
“Alowemer offered additional information regarding the bomb plot and provided the supplies, including boxes of nails, he had acquired for the building of the device at the meeting with the UCE and CHS on June 11. Detailed Google satellite maps with handwritten lines identifying the church and routes of entry and exit were made available by Alowemer in printed form.
“Alowemer also prepared a 10-point handwritten plan explaining the specifics of his scheme to carry explosives in a bag himself. In order to perform preparation and coordination before carrying out the planned bombing in July 2019, Alowemer stated a desire to meet once more. Alowemer was arrested on June 19 when that meeting was later arranged for the Pittsburgh region,” the statement continued.
Trial attorneys Brenda Sue Thornton and S. Elisa Poteat from the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Soo C. Song, prosecuted Alowemer’s case on behalf of the government.
Read Court Document verdict retrieved towards Mustafa Mousab Alowemer Preliminary Examination Transcript Here