A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization in connection with an Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) inspired plot to carry out an attack on New Year’s Eve 2015 against civilians in Rochester, NY, using knives and machetes.
Emanuel L. Lutchman is facing up to 20 years behind bars, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime term of supervised release.
Authorities revealed that he was planning to execute diners at a local restaurant last New Year’s Eve, reports NBC News.
However, he was arrested on Dec. 30, after he shared his plans with people working with the FBI, a component of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Moments before his arrest, he made a video pledging allegiance to ISIS, court documents show.
Referring to the planned attack in the video, Lutchman stated, “The blood that you spill of the Muslim overseas we gonna spill the blood of the kuffar [non-believers and infidels],” and he asked Allah to “make this a victory.”
In a press release, DOJ notes:
As part of his guilty plea, Lutchman admitted that he conspired with an individual known as Abu Issa Al-Amriki, a now-deceased ISIL member in Syria, and planned to conduct an attack against civilians using knives and a machete on New Year’s Eve in 2015. Lutchman admitted that he intended to conduct an attack that could be claimed by ISIL and that could also help him gain membership into ISIL when he thereafter traveled overseas to join the terrorist organization.
According to court documents, Lutchman posted on social media expressions of support for ISIL, including images, videos and documents relating to ISIL and violent jihad.
The defendant’s guilty plea came on Thursday, before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. of the Western District of New York. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15.
“Residents of this community can now sleep better knowing that a person who wanted to kill in the name of an infamous terrorist group — right on the streets of our city — will no longer be a threat,” declared U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. of the Western District of New York.
Lutchman admitted that on Dec. 27, 2015, he and Al-Amriki discussed potential targets, and Al-Amriki told Lutchman to find the most populated area and kill as many people as possible…
[Lutchman] indicated that he wanted to target a club or bar and proposed that they kidnap a couple of people and kill them. Lutchman stated that they would have to wear masks during the operation in order to avoid getting caught by law enforcement authorities.
Lutchman admitted that on the evening of Dec. 29, 2015… [he] went to a store in Rochester to purchase weapons and supplies for the attack, including two black ski masks, two knives, a machete, zip-ties, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves.
The defendant was reportedly planning to film the attack.