According to reports, the foiled New Year’s Eve plot began when, according to the Islamic convert, he received instructions from an overseas ISIS agent to carry out his attack at a local bar and restaurant. The name of this plot’s location has not been released due to security reasons. Lutchman then subsequently arranged to meet the FBI’s informant at a nearby Walmart, where they purchased the weapons and other supplies, which were valued at just $40 in all.
“I will take a life,” said the ISIS sympathizer, according to court documents. “I don’t have a problem with that.”
The foiled ISIS plot shows the group’s threat “even in upstate New York,” noted U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr., “but demonstrates our determination to immediately stop any who would cause harm in its name.”
Lutchman, ABC News noted, has a criminal record that includes a 2006 conviction for robbery, arrests for “mental health issues,” and a five-plus-year prison sentence. Court documents also noted that he expressed strong support of the Islamic State, as well as a desire to join its ranks in Syria, per conversations recorded with the informants.
Lutchman’s father, however, painted a different picture.
“The boy is impressionable,” said Omar Lutchman of his son, via the Wall Street Journal, who he characterized as having psychiatric issues since childhood. In particular, he noted that his son had recently stabbed himself in a suicide attempt, and would not have conducted the attack on his own.
“First he was a Blood, then he was a Crip, then he became a Muslim. He’s easily manipulated,” his father continued.
What is known about this New Year’s Eve plot is that, according to the FBI, Lutchman spoke to one of the undercover informants about a “brother” in ISIS, as well as his own desire to prove himself to his terrorist allies by conducting the plot on New Year’s Eve. This person, it was noted, told Lutchman that he was “behind enemy lines” and that the United States should be his most hated enemy.
After Lutchman admitted his desire to “give everything up” to join the Islamic State, the person wrote online to Lutchman, “For now do wat u can over there.”
The New Year’s Eve incident, meanwhile, is the second time in the past year-and-a-half that a man was arrested on charges related to ISIS in Rochester.
Shop owner Mufid Elfgeeh was detained in May, 2014, for purchasing shotguns and silencers that were believed to be part of a plot to kill returning U.S. soldiers. Elfgeeh actually pled guilty on December 17 for his role in attempting to support the terrorist organization, and awaits sentencing in March.
Lutchman’s lawyer, Steven Slawinski, declined to comment.
[Image by AP Images]