Home of Lisa's Top Ten, the daily email that brings you the world.
The first task of the day

Sign Up for Lisa's Top Ten


FBI Arrests Idaho 18-Year-Old for Alleged Plot to Attack Churches in Name of ISIS

Alexander Mercurio was planning to carry out attack in Coeur d’Alene on Sunday, according to the FBI.
United States District Court

The FBI arrested an 18-year-old from Idaho in connection to his "truly horrific" and "violent plot" to kill churchgoers in his town this past weekend in the name of ISIS, the Justice Department said.

Alexander Mercurio of Coeur d’Alene is facing federal charges of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. According to the FBI, Mercurio plotted to "incapacitate his father, restrain him using handcuffs, and steal his firearms to use for maximum casualties" in addition to using knives and lethal chemicals to carry out his attack this past Sunday, April 7.

"The defendant allegedly pledged loyalty to ISIS and sought to attack people attending churches in Idaho, a truly horrific plan which was detected and thwarted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

Authorities were first alerted when Mercurio, who lives in Coeur d’Alene, "reached out to confidential human sources online and indicated his support for ISIS and terrorist organizations, more generally."

"Mercurio spread ISIS propaganda online and solicited ISIS’s involvement in and approval of his propaganda efforts, discussed traveling from the United States to join ISIS, [and] considered and planned ways to support ISIS financially," according to the FBI complaint.

"His attack plan involved using flame-covered weapons, explosives, knives, a machete, a pipe and ultimately firearms," the complaint said. "His plan grew more precise as he eventually identified the specific church and date on which he planned to attack." 

Related Posts