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Monday, January 30, 2023

Massachusetts Man Inspired by ISIS Who Bought Pressure Cooker Gets 20 Years in Prison

Alexander Ciccolo, aka Ali Al Amriki, 26, of, Adams, Mass., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni in Springfield, Mass. to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release in connection with a plot to engage in terrorist activity inspired by ISIS.

In May, Ciccolo pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, one count of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, one count of being a convicted person in possession of firearms, and one count of assaulting a nurse during a jail intake process by use of a deadly weapon causing bodily injury. Ciccolo, the son of a police officer, has been detained since his arrest in July 2015.

“The National Security Division will not tolerate threats to our country and its people,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers. “Not only did Ciccolo admit to supporting ISIS — a well-known terrorist group — but he also collected weapons and explosives in order to further their goal of murdering innocent Americans.  This sentence holds him accountable for breaking our laws and putting American lives at risk.”

On July 4, 2015, Ciccolo received four firearms that he ordered from an individual, who was cooperating with law enforcement, and who had been communicating with Ciccolo about his plans to engage in a terrorist act. Ciccolo was arrested immediately after receiving the firearms, which included a Colt AR-15 .223 caliber rifle, a SigArms Model SG550-1 556 rifle, a Glock 17-9 mm pistol, and a Glock 20-10 mm pistol. Ciccolo had previously been convicted of a crime punishable by more than a year in jail and therefore was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Ciccolo had spoken with a cooperating witness in recorded conversations about his plans to commit acts of terrorism inspired by ISIS, including setting off improvised explosive devices, such as pressure cookers filled with black powder, nails, ball bearings and glass, in places where large numbers of people congregate, like college cafeterias. Prior to his arrest, agents had observed Ciccolo purchase a pressure cooker similar to the one used in the Boston Marathon bombings.

After his arrest, law enforcement recovered several partially constructed “Molotov cocktails” during a search of Ciccolo’s apartment. These incendiary devices contained what appeared to be shredded Styrofoam soaking in motor oil. Ciccolo had previously stated that this mixture would cause the fire from the exploded devices to stick to people’s skin and make it harder to put the fire out.

While Ciccolo was being processed after his arrest at the Franklin County Correctional Center, Ciccolo attacked and stabbed a nurse with a pen nearly a dozen times leaving a bloody gash on the top of the nurse’s head.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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