Son of Boston cop arrested for alleged terror plot to aid ISIS

Son of Boston cop arrested for alleged terror plot to aid ISIS

The estranged son of a Boston police captain was arrested on July 4 for a plot to carry out a terrorist attack in support of Islamic extremists.

According to federal charges unsealed on Monday, 23-year-old Alexander Ciccolo — who also went by Ali Al Amriki — was a supporter of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and had discussed plans to use guns and homemade bombs to wreak havoc in support of the group.

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Federal officials found machetes and partially constructed Molotov cocktails in his apartment, the Justice Department said, and had also watched him buy a pressure cooker similar to the one used by the bombers of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Ciccolo had allegedly discussed filling pressure cookers with black powder, “ball bearings, nails, glass [and] rocks” and blowing them up in public spots such as bars and a police station.

Ciccolo “had a long history of mental illness” and “had become obsessed with Islam” over the last year and a half, a close acquaintance of his told officials, according to documents released on Monday.

According to ABC News, he is the son of Boston police Capt. Robert Ciccolo, a veteran officer who was one of the first responders to the 2013 bombing attack and alerted officials about his son last year. 

The FBI had been monitoring the younger Ciccolo for months. In October, a Facebook account that Ciccolo had created under the name of Ali Al Amriki appeared to celebrate the death of American soldiers.

In June, Ciccolo told a government informant that he thought an ISIS-inspired slaughter that killed 38 people on a beach in Tunisia was “awesome.”

“That is a huge accomplishment I think,” Ciccolo allegedly said.

He also allegedly told the informant that he wanted to use an array of guns and improvised explosives to attack dorms and a cafeteria at a state university and broadcast students’ executions live over the Internet.

“You get the rifles,” Ciccolo allegedly told the informant. “I’ll get the powder.”

The next day, FBI agents watched him buy a pressure cooker at a North Adams, Mass., Walmart.

He was arrested on July 4 after the informant gave him two rifles and two handguns. A previous conviction prohibited him from possessing guns.

A search of Ciccolo’s apartment after his arrest yielded the Molotov cocktails made of Styrofoam soaked in motor oil as well as two machetes and a long curved knife.

When he was taken into jail for routine medical screening, Ciccolo allegedly grabbed a pen and “forcefully stabbed [his] nurse in the head, leaving a bloody hole in the nurse’s skin and causing the pen to break in half,” officials claimed in their charges.

Federal charges claimed that he refused to discuss the alleged terror plot with officials but did tell agents that he supported ISIS.

Ciccolo faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Federal law enforcement officials have repeatedly warned about the threat posed by “lone wolf” actors inspired by ISIS and other groups, who become radicalized through the Internet and develop plans to unleash violence in the U.S. In response, agents have become more aggressive and have resolved to be more active.