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FBI: Idaho Man Planned Church Attacks After Vowing Support to ISIS Terror Group

The Justice Department on Monday announced the arrest of a man they say planned to carry out attacks on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, over the weekend after pledging support to the terror group ISIS.

Alexander Mercurio, 18, was arrested on Saturday on charges of attempting to provide material support to ISIS. Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray said in statement Monday that the FBI thwarted his plans to use knives, firearms and fire to carry out the attacks.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday, the FBI’s case against Mercurio started when confidential sources working with the bureau found him expressing support for ISIS online.

The bureau later arranged for an informant to meet with him in person — and his conduct grew from pushing ISIS propaganda to allegedly planning to carry out a suicide attack on churches in Coeur d’Alene.

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