The feds say that an 18-year-old in Idaho planned to attack more than 21 churches

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An 18-year-old student from Idaho was arrested for planning to attack churchgoers in his hometown on behalf of ISIS, according to federal authorities.
In addition to supporting ISIS, Mercurio allegedly conspired to attack individuals at over 21 churches in Coeur d’Alene on Sunday with various weapons — including knives, guns and fire, according to the release.
The confidential human source met Mercurio in person, and he again expressed his support for ISIS, the documents continued.
Mercurio’s behavior “escalated” at the beginning of 2024 when he began planning a suicide attack on churches in Coeur d’Alene, the court records show.
His plan involved using flame-covered weapons, explosives, knives, a machete, a pipe and firearms, according to the court records.
While planning the attack, Mercurio made a “Bayʿah statement,” which included him pledging his allegiance to ISIS and “stating his intention to die while killing others on behalf of ISIS,” court records show.
He transmitted the statement a day before he planned to carry out the attack, according to the court records.
Mercurio also participated in an online group chat with other ISIS supporters, according to court documents.


According to federal authorities, an 18-year-old student from Idaho was detained for plotting to attack churchgoers in his hometown on behalf of ISIS.

A Justice Department news release stated that Alexander Scott Mercurio, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is charged with “attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS” and swearing allegiance to the terrorist group.

In addition to allegedly aiding ISIS, the release claims that Mercurio planned to use fire, guns, and knives to attack people at over 21 churches in Coeur d’Alene on Sunday.

According to the Justice Department, Mercurio is accused of “attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”. If found guilty, the maximum sentence he could face is 20 years in federal prison.

According to court documents on Tuesday, Mercurio is not represented by an attorney in this case.

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According to the feds, Alexander Mercurio had deliberate plans to attack churches before Ramadan ended.

According to court filings in the District of Idaho, the FBI started investigating Mercurio when the 18-year-old disclosed his support for ISIS and terrorist groups and reached out to “confidential human sources” online. The documents further stated that when the secret human source personally met Mercurio, he once more declared his support for ISIS.

“Mercurio disseminated propaganda from ISIS online, asked for permission to use their materials, and talked about departing the U.S. s. , according to court documents, “to join ISIS, thought about and planned ways to support ISIS financially, and most recently, set forth a plan to assault his father with a metal pipe, acquire his father’s firearms, and attack a local church.”.

According to court documents, Mercurio started plotting a suicide attack on churches in Coeur d’Alene at the start of 2024, which is when his behavior “escalated.”. According to court documents, his plan called for the use of explosives, knives, a machete, a pipe, guns, and weapons covered in flames.

According to court documents, he deliberately scheduled the attack for April 7 to take place before the end of Ramadan, and he selected a particular church.

Before Alexander Mercurio could take his father’s firearms, the FBI foils his scheme.

According to court documents, Mercurio’s next plan was to render his father incapable of being hurt, handcuff him, and take his firearms so that he could inflict “maximum casualties in his attack.”. The papers said that he purchased a metal pipe and butane canisters prior to the attack.

Court documents reveal that during the attack planning phase, Mercurio made a “Bayſah statement,” in which he declared his support for ISIS and declared his intention to “die while killing others on behalf of ISIS.”. According to court documents, he sent the statement one day prior to his intended attack.

According to court documents, federal agents were able to apprehend Mercurio before he hurt his father. Upon searching Mercurio’s family home on Saturday, the documents went on, they discovered attack plans, the items he purchased for the crimes, and an ISIS flag in his bedroom.

According to feds, Alexander Mercurio disclosed the attack plan to the FBI’s confidential source.

According to court documents, Mercurio was recognized by the FBI as an online learner at a nearby school who received a laptop and a Wi-Fi hotspot. According to court documents, authorities discovered documents about socialism, communism, and politics as well as images of Mercurio making gestures associated with ISIS on the school-issued laptop, “confirming Mercurio’s commitment to ISIS and its ideology.”.

Along with other ISIS supporters, Mercurio took part in an online group chat, as per court documents.

In the October chat, Mercurio stated, “I’m 17 in the USA.”. two, 2022, according to court records. I know I try to keep my identity a secret, but my parents, who are devout Christians in north Idaho, are upset that I don’t shave my beard or wear pants that cover my ankles. “.

According to court records, Meruciro detailed the plan in detail to the confidential human source during an online conversation.

According to court documents, Mercurio wrote between March 25 and 26, “The plan is basically this: lie to my dad and say I’m going on a walk, leave, walk to a park, send the Bayah video, delete all the social media on my phone (and) then walk to the nearest church.”. “Get close to the church, get your weapon(s) ready, and storm the temple, killing as many as you can before they scatter. Then, burn the temple down and run away. Then, move on to the next church, and so on, until all 21+ churches in the town are destroyed. “.

An FBI agent claims, “This case should be an eye-opener.”.

You. s. “We have no higher calling than to protect our nation and our communities from terrorism,” stated attorney Josh Hurwit, according to a release from the Justice Department.

“This case should serve as a wake-up call to the perils of self-radicalization, which poses a genuine threat to our communities,” stated Salt Lake City FBI Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha in the press release. “The FBI’s top priority continues to be safeguarding the American people from terrorism, and we always urge the public to report anything suspicious to the FBI or your local law enforcement.”. “.

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