Idaho Man Arrested for Helping ISIS

( – On April 6th, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho resident Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, was arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group.

According to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) investigation, Mercurio allegedly planned to use weapons, such as firearms and knives to attack Coeur d’Alene churches on April 7th on behalf of ISIS.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said that Mercurio was taken into custody before his attack because of the FBI’s “investigative efforts.”

According to authorities, Mercurio had been in contact with FBI informants over a two-year span, who were posing as supporters of ISIS. He allegedly told one of the informants that he planned to use a pipe to incapacitate his dad before handcuffing him and stealing his car, rifles, handguns, and ammunition kept locked in a closet. According to a sworn statement by an FBI agent, if he was unable to get the guns and ammunition, Mercurio intended to use the pipe, knives, and fire to carry out his attack. However, according to a statement, Mercurio said he would “achieve better things” if he was able to get access to the guns.

Mercurio allegedly told the informant that after he attacked the church, he intended to attack as many as 21 individuals in town and then be killed in an act of martyrdom.

According to FBI task force officer John Taylor II, Mercurio told a confidential informant that he began connecting with ISIS at the beginning of the pandemic, with investigators finding files on his school-issued laptop about ISIS extremist ideology. According to the statement, Mercurio felt he was a hypocrite for not conducting an attack. Mercurio added that his parents disapproved of his beliefs.

On March 21st, he sent a message to the informant again about his need to carry out an attack, with authorities arresting him after an audio file that featured him pledging his support to ISIS.

Mercurio faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

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