Mustafa Mousab Alowemer of Pennsylvania was convicted by an American federal court to 208 months (17 years and three months) in prison for conspiring with the international terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to bomb a Nigerian church in Pittsburgh.
According to a news release issued by the US Department of Justice on Wednesday and signed by Assistant Attorney-General Matthew G. Olsen of the DOJ National Security Division, Alowemer’s prison sentence would be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
On September 16, 2021, the 24-year-old entered a guilty plea in the Western District of Pennsylvania to a charge of attempting to provide material support to ISIS in connection with his
“Alowemer admits to preparing a devastating attack of a Pittsburgh church in the name of ISIS,” said the statement, according to Olsen.
The Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force’s outstanding work prevented the defendant from carrying out his ISIS-inspired plan to attack a Pittsburgh church and endanger nearby civilians, according to US Attorney Cindy K. Chung for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Alowemer allegedly planned to use an explosive device to bomb a church that is situated on Pittsburgh’s north side. He said that his objective for carrying out the attack was to advance the goals of ISIS and to rally American ISIS sympathizers to carry out similar crimes in its name.
Alowemer also targeted the church in order to “avenge our [ISIS] comrades in Nigeria,” calling it a “Nigerian Christian” church. Alowemer was aware that the explosion could kill many individuals who were close to the church.
Alowemer distributed multiple instructional documents on the creation and usage of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to a person he thought was a fellow member of ISIS but who was actually an FBI agent in May 2019 as part of the plan to destroy the church.