One man from Pennsylvania was officially sentenced to a stint of 17 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release due to his involvement in a plan to blow up a church in Pittsburgh.
24-year-old Mustafa Mousab Alowemer of Pittsburgh has been sentenced officially as of last week to a single count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS in connection with his scheme to go after a church located in Pittsburgh.
“Alowemer admitted to planning a deadly bombing of a Pittsburgh church in the name of ISIS,” claimed Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, as reported by a new press release issued by the Justice Department. “The National Security Division was created to protect the nation from terrorist threats and we remain vigilant against those who would plot violent attacks on U.S. soil in furtherance of an extreme ideology.”
“The defendant’s plan to bomb a Pittsburgh church and risk death or injury to residents in the area in the name of ISIS was thwarted by the extraordinary work of the Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force,” stated U.S. Attorney Cindy K. Chung for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “Our office will continue to hold accountable individuals who threaten the safety of our communities.”
Originally, Alowemer planned to carry out a bombing of a church situated on the Northern side of Pittsburgh with an explosive device, as explained in court records. The motivation he gave for the horrendous plan was solely to support the cause of ISIS and to try and inspire other supporters of ISIS throughout the United States to take up arms together and do similar attacks in the name of the terror group.
The refugee from Syria also chose to target the church, which he labeled as a “Nigerian Christian” church, to “take revenge for our [ISIS] brothers in Nigeria.” Alowemer was well aware that a large number of people in the area around the church would also be hurt or killed by the blast. Alowemer officially pled guilty to a single count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS in relation to his plan to attack a church in Pittsburgh in the Western District of Pennsylvania in September of last year.
“The guilty plea today by Mustafa Alowemer leaves no question about his intention to commit an act of terrorism against a place of worship,” stated Mike Nordwall, the Special Agent in charge of the Pittsburgh Field Office of the FBI back in September of 2021. “Mr. Alowemer will now face the consequences of his elaborate plan to inflict harm on innocent people. I’m proud of FBI Pittsburgh and all of the personnel who worked countless hours to protect the community, and I want to thank all of the agencies that participate in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Together, we combine our resources to identify and disrupt threats to protect our communities and the nation,” he went on.
Back in May of 2019, Alowemer handed over instructional materials in relation to the use and construction of explosives and IEDs to a person that he thought was a fellow supporter of ISIS. This person was instead an undercover member of the FBI. Alowemer met the person a total of four times between April 16 and June 11 in relation to the plot. He was finally brought into custody as part of a meeting that took place on June 19, 2019.