Syrian Refugee Pleaded Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

syrian refugee

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Syrian refugee Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 23, pleaded guilty on September 16 to attempting to provide material support for ISIS. What did he do? He made plans to blow up the Legacy International Worship Center in Pittsburgh, and had been arrested in June of 2019, as we previously reported.

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According to court documents, Alowemer plotted to bomb a church located on the north side of Pittsburgh using an explosive device. His stated motivation to conduct such an attack was to support the cause of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States to join together and commit similar acts in the name of ISIS. Alowemer also targeted the church to “take revenge for our [ISIS] brothers in Nigeria.” Alowemer was aware that numerous people in the proximity of the church could be killed by the explosion.

In furtherance of the plot to bomb the church, in May 2019, Alowemer distributed multiple instructional documents related to the construction and use of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to an individual Alowemer believed to be a fellow ISIS supporter, but who was in fact an FBI employee. Alowemer distributed these documents with the intent that the information be used in the assembly of a destructive device and in furtherance of conducting an attack in support of ISIS. In or around June 2019, Alowemer purchased several items, including nails and acetone (nail polish remover) with the belief that they were necessary to assemble a destructive device and with the intention they be used to construct the explosives that would be detonated in the vicinity of the church.

Between April 16 and June 11, Alowemer met four times in person with an FBI Undercover Employee (UCE) and/or an FBI Confidential Human Source (CHS). At the June 11 meeting with the UCE and CHS, Alowemer provided additional details about the bomb plot and provided the materials, including boxes of nails, he had purchased for construction of the device. Alowemer provided printed copies of detailed Google satellite maps, which included hand-written markings identifying the church and routes of arrival and escape. Alowemer also wrote and provided a 10-point handwritten plan outlining details related to his plot to personally deliver explosives in a backpack. Alowemer expressed a desire to meet one more time to conduct planning and coordination prior to carrying out the attempted bombing in July 2019. That meeting was later scheduled for June 19 in the Pittsburgh area, at which time Alowemer was arrested.

US Department of Justice
Screenshot of Alowemer’s 10 point plan to blow up the church via Heavy.com

According to Breitbart, Alowemer came into the US on the RE3 (child of a Syrian refugee) status in 2016, and had applied for a green card with USCIS. His application was pending at the time of arrest. His guilty plea causes him to face up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and a lifetime of supervised parole. His sentencing is set for January 26, 2022.

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Featured photo: mug shot of Mustafa Mousab Alowemer

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