A man has been arrested and charged with plotting to carry out an Isis-inspired terror attack with a machete in a New York restaurant on New Year's Eve.
The US Justice Department said Emanuel Lutchman, 25, planned to carry out the attack at a restaurant in Rochester, in New York state. He has been charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State. News of his arrest came as 6,000 police officers in New York City are preparing for the arrival of up to one million revelers.
“The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year's Eve,” FBI Special Agent Adam Cohen said in a statement.
“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.”
According to legal documents filed in court, Mr Lutchman, who had a criminal record and a history of mental health issues, had had pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and wanted to leave to US to live in the so-called caliphate.
The convert to Islam had allegedly been in contact with a suspected Isis member in Syria who urged him to kill non-Muslims on the holiday.
“New year is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar,” the overseas contact told him, the court papers allege, according to NBC.
Mr Lutchman was reportedly detained with the help of confidential informants who received payment from the FBI. One of them paid for masks, zip-ties, knives, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves that were allegedly supposed to be used in the attack, the court documents show.
In his conversations with the informants, Mr Lutchman allegedly discussed using pressure cooker bombs or knives in an attack meant to impress his ISIS handlers, the complaint said.
“[T]hat's what my plan, that's on my mind, that's all I been thinking about,” he said. “'Cause I'm getting amped up, to accept the fact that's what I gotta do.”
On December 28, he allegedly told an informant he wanted to sneak a bomb into a club or bar, kidnap a couple of people and kill them.
“I will take a life. I don't have a problem with that,” he said.
The FBI arrested Lutchman on Wednesday and seized a video in which swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi and claimed responsibility for the planned attack.
“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,” it said in a statement.
The FBI said that Mr Lutchman appeared before US Magistrate Judge Marian Payson of the US Western District of New York on Thursday morning.Reuse content