One held over plot to attack restaurant
Published 02/01/2016 | 02:30
A 25-year-old man has been arrested in New York State accused of planning to carry out a New Year's Eve terrorist attack.
Emanuel Lutchman allegedly plotted an armed assault on a restaurant in the city of Rochester. He was in contact with an "overseas individual" who had identified himself as a member of Isil, according to the US Department of Justice.
Mr Lutchman, a US citizen and a convert to Islam, was charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group.
Authorities say Mr Lutchman and a paid FBI informant travelled to a Walmart store in Rochester on Tuesday and bought a machete, two knives, two ski masks, zip-ties, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves, all of which Mr Lutchman intended to use in the attack.
The FBI says Mr Lutchman had pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Isil leader, and had been urged to "kill some kuffar [non-Muslims]" on New Year's Eve by the individual claiming to belong to Isil.
In a conversation with an FBI informant, Mr Lutchman allegedly discussed the best way to carry out an attack, including using pressure cooker bombs similar those employed at the Boston Marathon bombing.
"That's on my mind, that's all I been thinking about," he said, according to the FBI. "Cause I'm getting amped up to accept the fact that's what I got to do."
Court documents filed on Wednesday identify Mr Lutchman as "a self-professed Muslim convert with a criminal history".
He was arrested for robbery in 2006, and served five years in prison.
The documents also describe a conversation that allegedly took place last week between Mr Lutchman and an individual claiming to be a "brother" with Isil, in which the latter asks how he could join the group.
Mr Lutchman allegedly responded that he had been considering "starting to organise brothers… to do operation for the sake of Allah", but feared having to return to prison.
Mr Lutchman apparently planned to survive the attack, as he allegedly said that anyone who could identify the vehicle used must be killed.
The details of the alleged plot emerged as police departments around the world were increasing security ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations that have long been seen as terrorist targets.