An alleged ISIS supporter who was planning a machete attack in Rochester on New Year’s Eve has been arrested by the FBI, according to latest reports emerging in the media.
Emanuel Lutchman, 25, has been charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS in what authorities described as a plot to attack civilians on New Year’s Eve, according to the United States Justice Department. If convicted, the New York man could face up to 20 years in prison along with having to pay a fine amounting to $250,000, reports the Washington Post.
According to a criminal complaint, the New York man told an accomplice, who was an FBI informant in disguise, that he was planning an attack at a Rochester restaurant on New Year’s Eve at the direction of ISIS.
“New years is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar,” was the instruction meted out to the ISIS supporter by an overseas Islamic State contact, according to New York Daily News.
FBI Special Agent Adam Cohen confirmed reports about Lutchman’s arrest, saying the ISIS supporter was instructed to kill civilians using a machete, cooker bombs, and knives at a restaurant in Rochester on New Year’s Eve.
“The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year’s Eve.
“The FBI remains concerned about people overseas who use the Internet to inspire people in the United States to commit acts of violence where they live.”
William Hochul Jr., the U.S. attorney for the Western District of New York, told CNN the arrest of the alleged ISIS supporter means even upstate New York is not safe from a potential ISIS attack. He also issued a rather stern warning to possible ISIS recruits in the United States.
“This New Year’s Eve prosecution underscores the threat of [ISIS] even in upstate New York but demonstrates our determination to immediately stop any who would cause harm in its name.
“What began as an [ISIS] directive to harm the community ended with the arrest of this defendant and a message for any other individuals considering similar behavior — you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be punished.”
One of the things that can be gauged from the initial reports is that the attack Emanuel Lutchman was supposed to carry out in Rochester was a kind of initiation task handed out to him by ISIS. The FBI informant reportedly told authorities that Lutchman had been instructed to carry out the attack so that he could prove worthy of joining ISIS.
“That’s what my plan, that’s on my mind, that’s all I been thinking about,” the Rochester-based ISIS supporter had reportedly told his “accomplice.” “Cause I’m getting amped up, to accept the fact that’s what I gotta do.”
According to WGME, Lutchman further suggested targeting a club or a bar by sneaking a bomb inside and then kidnapping a couple of people and killing them.
It is worth mentioning here that the alleged ISIS supporter previously served five years in prison for a robbery conviction and has had state mental hygiene arrests. Described as “a self-professed Muslim convert with a criminal history” in the court records, Lutchman had bought two black ski masks, zip ties, two knives, a machete, duct tape, ammonia, and latex gloves from Hudson Avenue’s Walmart for the planned New Year’s Eve attack.
The news of the ISIS supporter’s arrest comes amidst President Barack Obama’s repeated assurances to American citizens about his strategy for handling ISIS.
[Image via Twitter]