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Idaho Teen Arrested For Allegedly Planning Attacks On Christian Churches On Behalf Of ISIS

  A teenager in Idaho was   arrested over the weekend   for allegedly planning to carry out a terrorist attack on Christian churches on beha...

 A teenager in Idaho was arrested over the weekend for allegedly planning to carry out a terrorist attack on Christian churches on behalf of ISIS.

Federal law enforcement officials arrested Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, on Saturday after he pledged allegiance to ISIS and planned to attack Christian churches on April 7 using “flame-covered weapons, explosives, knives, a machete, a pipe, and ultimately firearms,” court documents say.

The FBI stumbled upon Mercurio in 2021 while conducting a criminal investigation into a fundraising network that uses cryptocurrency to fund Islamic terrorist groups.

In 2023, investigators found on his school-issued laptop numerous pieces of evidence that showed he was serious about his commitment to ISIS as well as his interest in “socialism” and “communism,” court documents say.

He told a confidential FBI informant that in his video pledging allegiance to ISIS, he would state that it was important to “respond to the call to the caliphate by killing Jews and Christians.”

He indicated that he planned to “walk to the church, pull out the pipe to light it on fire on one end, hit people in the elbows and kneecaps, force them to the ground, slit their throats with a knife or machete, start small fires, use gas cans to throw at the small fires to cause an explosion and when the police respond he will hide in a corner and attempt to grab the gun of an officer to use,” court documents said, according to the Idaho Statesmen.

He allegedly believed that by murdering Christians, he was performing “a good deed.”


“As alleged in the complaint, the defendant swore an oath of loyalty to ISIS and planned to wage an attack in its name on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, the defendant was taken into custody before he could act, and he is now charged with attempting to support ISIS’s mission of terror and violence. The Justice Department will continue to relentlessly pursue, disrupt, and hold accountable those who would commit acts of terrorism against the people and interests of the United States.”

“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,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “This investigation demonstrates the FBI’s steadfast commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to stop those who wish to commit acts of violence on behalf of – or inspired by – foreign terrorist groups.”

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