ADAMS, Mass. (NEWS10) – Federal Agents have arrested the son of a Boston police captain in a plot to commit terrorist acts on behalf of the Islamic State group.
Alexander Ciccolo is accused in a 13-page criminal complaint unsealed Monday of receiving four guns on July 4 from a person cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force.
An FBI affidavit says the 23-year-old Ciccolo had talked with the cooperating witness in recorded conversations about his plans to commit acts inspired by Islamic State, including setting off pressure cooker bombs at an unidentified university. He allegedly said the attack would include executions of students broadcast live online.
According to the complaint, the FBI had Ciccolo on its radar since September 11, 2014. From there, they discovered his Facebook page, which revealed he was interested in martyrdom.
Ciccolo said he believed that “the faith is under attack” and that he is “not afraid to die for the cause,” officials say.
During the investigation agents followed Ciccolo’s movements on social media where he was known as Ali Al Amirki and express a desire to fight for ISIS.
Ciccolo also spoke very highly of the killings of Americans in foreign lands, mentioning the Tunisian and French terrorist attacks.
The complaint claims Ciccolo was inspired by the Boston Marathon bombing. Before his arrest, agents had observed Ciccolo buy a pressure cooker similar to those used in the 2013 attack.
Ciccolo was arrested on July 4 after he bought two pistols and two rifles. When authorities raided his Adams apartment, they found a pressure cooker, a variety of chemicals, an alarm clock and plans detailing his attack.
Once behind bars, he was also accused of stabbing a nurse in the head with a pen.
Ciccolo remains behind bars at a facility in Rhode Island. He’s expected to appear in federal court in Springfield on Tuesday for a detention hearing.
The family released the following statement:
“While we were saddened and disappointed to learn of our son’s intentions, we are grateful that authorities were able to prevent any loss of life or harm to others. At this time, we would ask that the public and the media recognize our grief and respect our desire for privacy.”
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