Federal officials have arrested a Rochester, New York man for allegedly plotting a New Year’s machete attack on behalf of the Islamic State terror group.
Emanuel L. Lutchman, 25, is being charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State, which is designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. This charge carries a potential penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, the FBI said.
“According to the complaint, as part of Emanuel Lutchman’s attempt to provide material support to ISIL, he planned to kill innocent civilians on New Year’s Eve in the name of the terrorist organization,” Assistant Attorney General Carlin said in the press release. “Thankfully, law enforcement was able to intervene and thwart Lutchman’s deadly plans.”
“The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year’s Eve,” added FBI Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen. “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.”
The complaint alleges that Lutchman had received a directive from an overseas IS member. He was preparing to target a Rochester restaurant on New Year’s Eve, according to authorities.
He had in the past expressed his desire to join Islamic State on the battlefield in Syria, the complaint states, after an overseas IS member described his time in the Middle East as a “dream come true.”
The overseas individual told Lutchman that should he fail to make his way to IS-held territory, he must work “behind enemy lines” in America to kill countless “kuffar,” or non-Muslims. “For now do wat u can over there,” the overseas IS member told Lutchman, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the FBI complaint, Lutchman had other Muslim “brothers” in the area devoted to IS who also wanted to make the journey to Syria.
And on December 27, Lutchman would record an audio message declaring his pledge to the Islamic State, the FBI testimony reads. A couple of days later, he made a video pledging support for IS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“I’m ready to lose my family,” the alleged terrorist said as he was readying his jihadi operations for New Year’s eve. “
On Wednesday, just one day before his planned actions, the Rochester Joint Terrorism-Task Force arrested Lutchman as he was in a vehicle with an FBI confidential informant, the criminal complaint said.