On Thursday, a grand jury indicted 23-year-old Alexander Ciccolo – also known as Ali al Amriki, “Amriki” being the surname the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) usually gives to American recruits – on a host of new charges related to his alleged support for the Islamic State.
Ciccolo’s father, Boston police captain Robert Ciccolo, contacted the FBI in 2014 over his son’s expressed wishes to fight for the Islamic State, launching a surveillance operation that ended up producing a long list of terrorism-related charges.
The elder Ciccolo has been criticized from some quarters for not treating his son as mentally ill and renewing the psychological care that had lapsed in his late teens, instead going to the FBI.
The indictments against Alexander Ciccolo make it clear just how dangerous he was. He stocked his apartment with Molotov cocktails, and was working on a pressure-cooker bomb similar to those used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the Boston Marathon bombing. He told an FBI informant that he planned to detonate his bomb in a crowded college cafeteria. He also spoke of carrying out bomb attacks against two bars and a police station.
He was indicted last summer for “unlawfully possessing guns in connection with a plot to carry out an attack at an unnamed state university” and with “stabbing a nurse with a pen after his arrest,” according to The Boston Globe.
The new charges brought by a grand jury on Thursday include “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist group, as well as the attempted use of weapons of mass destruction.”
One ugly detail The Boston Globe mentioned is that Ciccolo’s Molotov cocktails “contained what appeared to be shredded Styrofoam soaking in motor oil,” which the aspiring bomber said would “cause the fire from the exploded devices to stick to people’s skin and make it harder to put the fire out.”
He was planning to fill his pressure cooker bombs with “black powder, nails, ball bearings and glass” to cause maximum carnage in “places where large crowds gather,” according to the Associated Press.
“During a prior court hearing, prosecutors showed a video of Ciccolo’s post-arrest interview with an FBI agent, in which he said that he supports the Islamic State and called the United States an enemy of Islam for failing to follow Sharia law,” the Globe adds.
Raw Story notes that if Ciccolo is convicted on the weapon of mass destruction charge, he “faces a sentence of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.”