Prosecutors have arrested the son of a Boston police captain in a plot to commit terrorist acts on behalf of the Islamic State group.
Alexander Ciccolo is accused in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday of receiving four guns July 4 from a person cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He was busted while walking down the street with the weapons in a duffel bag.
An FBI affidavit says the 23-year-old Adams resident had talked with the cooperating witness in recorded conversations about his plans to commit acts inspired by the Islamic State group, including setting off pressure-cooker bombs at an unidentified university.
FBI agents raided Ciccolo's home and found long knives, a pressure cooker, and partially constructed Molotov cocktails.
Investigators said Ciccolo plotted his attacks from an apartment complex on a quiet street in Adams.
Neighbors said they are shocked that an alleged terrorist lived right around the corner from them.
"It's very disturbing. Shocking. You're not safe anywhere anymore. Nowhere,” said neighbor Joseph Martin.
According to the affidavit, he said the attack would include executions of students broadcast live online.
Before his arrest, agents had observed Ciccolo buying a pressure cooker similar to those used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
"Gangs have guns, stuff like that. But for a random guy to just be walking down the streets, and you don't know what's in his bag, it could have been bombs or anything. He could have detonated anything at any time, or anything could have gone bad inside the apartment. Who knows,” said neighbor Jackson Rysz.
Ciccolo's father actually warned the FBI that his son is dangerous which launched the investigation. His family said the 23-year-old suffers from mental illness.
In a statement the family said “While we were saddened and disappointed to learn of our son’s intentions, we are grateful that authorities were able to prevent any loss of life or harm to others. At this time, we would ask that the public and the media recognize our grief and respect our desire for privacy.”
Ciccolo was charged with illegally possessing firearms and will appear in federal court for a detention hearing on Tuesday.
Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.