A 25-year-old U.S. citizen on Wednesday was arrested for allegedly plotting a New Year’s Eve terror attack on behalf of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Emanuel Lutchman, an ex-con Muslim convert who suffers from mental illness, was allegedly planning to attack and kill civilians with a machete at diners and restaurants in Rochester, N.Y., according to court documents.
He was charged on Thursday with attempting to provide material support to a known terrorist organization.
The FBI said Lutchman had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and was in contact with an ISIS affiliate in Syria who encouraged him to kill non-Muslim civilians.
“New Years is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar,” his contact allegedly told him, according to the court documents.
Authorities arrested the suspect with the help of paid informants who provided the FBI with recordings of conversations and screen shots of electronic communications with Lutchman.
Lutchman allegedly expressed his strong support for ISIS and his intention to use pressure cooker bombs in his communications with the informants.
“That’s what my plan, that’s on my mind, that’s all I been thinking about,” he allegedly said. “Cause I;m getting amped up, to accept the fact that’s what I gotta do.”
On Dec. 25 and 26, he allegedly provided one of the informants with screen shots of communications he had with his overseas contact.
And on Dec. 28, he allegedly told one of the informants he would sneak a bomb into a bar or kidnap and kill a couple with a knife.
“I will take a life. I don’t have a problem with that,” he allegedly said.
When the FBI arrested him on Wednesday, authorities said they seized a video of Lutchman pledging his allegiance to al-Baghdadi and taking responsibility for the planned attack.
“The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year’s Eve,” said Special Agent in Charge Adam Cohen in a press release issued by the Department of Justice. “The FBI remains concerned about people overseas who use the Internet to inspire people in the United States to commit acts of violence where they live.”
Lutchman has a criminal record stemming from a 2006 robbery conviction. He served approximately five years in prison.