US police officer's son arrested for planning terrorist attack
Washington, July 14: US federal authorities arrested and charged with terrorism the estranged son of a Boston police captain who allegedly was planning an attack inspired by the Islamic State (IS) group, the Department of Justice announced on Monday.
Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was arrested on July 4 as he was awaiting a shipment of several firearms he had arranged to buy, albeit from an undercover FBI agent.
The investigation said that Ciccolo, who calls himself Abu Ali al-Amriki and according to neighbours is a recent convert to Islam, intended to construct bombs using pressure cookers, like those used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, to stage an attack somewhere in the US inspired by IS ideology.
The court documents in the case say that Ciccolo has "a long history of mental illness" and had been sentenced in the past to a year in jail.
According to the daily Boston Globe, Ciccolo is the son of veteran Boston police captain Robert Ciccolo, who notified the FBI of the young man's intentions.
The Ciccolo family issued a statement in which they said they were "saddened and disappointed" upon learning the details of the attack their relative was planning, although despite acquiring a pressure cooker he had not yet done anything more than try to fashion some Molotov cocktails.
According to investigators, Ciccolo became obsessed with the IS a year-and-a-half ago and had expressed to undercover agents his intention to carry out attacks in public places like those conducted by the jihadi group.
Ciccolo also became interested in travelling abroad to fight with the IS and had expressed his intention to become a martyr.