Federal authorities have arrested an Adams, Mass., man who was allegedly planning to carry out an Islamic State-inspired attack on a university with guns and improvised explosives, including a pressure-cooker bomb like those used in the Boston Marathon bombing, reports the Boston Globe.
Alexander Ciccolo, 23, who authorities say is also known as Ali Al Amriki, was arrested after he took a delivery of four guns on July 4. He had allegedly ordered the guns from a person working with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Ciccolo, who authorities said in a court filing has "a long history of mental illness," allegedly had also bought a pressure cooker.
"Ciccolo said that he wanted to use pressure cookers to make a big explosion," according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in the case. "He said that the Boston Marathon bombing gave him the idea of what to do, using the same materials and emptying fireworks into a pressure cooker."
Ciccolo had discussed targeting a police station, according to court records, but had shifted his attention to a university because more people would be around. He allegedly told a cooperating witness that his attack would be concentrated on dormitories and a cafeteria, according to court documents, "and would include executions of students broadcast live via the internet."
According to a law enforcement official briefed on the case, Ciccolo is the estranged son of Boston Police Captain Robert Ciccolo, who told investigators of his son's intentions. The captain notified authorities after he had a conversation with his son several months ago.