MA Man arrested in college terror plot faces judge - WFSB 3 Connecticut

MA Man arrested in college terror plot faces judge

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Alexander Ciccolo was arrested in connection with plotting a domestic attack. Alexander Ciccolo was arrested in connection with plotting a domestic attack.
Court sketch (WFSB) Court sketch (WFSB)

The son of a veteran Boston police captain, who is accused of plotting a domestic attack, faced a judge at federal court on Tuesday afternoon.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was arrested on the Fourth of July just one day after authorities said he was seen buying a pressure cooker similar to those used in the Boston Marathon bombings. 

When asked about it, Ciccolo told investigators it would cause the fire from the explosion to stick to people's skin and make it harder to put the fire out.

Court documents show Ciccolo made references to the Boston Marathon bombings, saying that attack gave him the idea of what to do and investigators have surveillance tape of Ciccolo buying a pressure cooker at this North Adams Wal-Mart.

Documents show Ciccolo explained he would use two pressure cooker bombs filled with “nails and things like that. I also have aerosol cans and propane tanks to maximize explosive power."

It was Ciccolo's father who actually alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation last fall and told them his son was talking about joining the Islamic State. Court documents also revealed that Ciccolo's father told the FBI that has son had become "obsessed with Islam."  

In court on Tuesday, Ciccolo looked confused.

A nine minute video was shown in court of federal agents questioning Ciccolo.

He refused to talk about the alleged plot but went on defending ISIS and said "they are doing a good thing."

When asked about the beheadings, Ciccolo said the people seen being executed are the lowest of the low.

"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,” neighbor Jackson Rysz said. “He could have detonated anything at any time, or anything could have gone bad inside the apartment. Who knows."

Investigators said Ciccolo was plotting the attack from his apartment in Adams, Ma. According to court papers, large knives including a machete and partially built Molotov cocktails with pieces of motor oil soaked Styrofoam were found in his home.

“I heard that Isis had like sleepers in the United States but I never thought it would be in Adams Massachusetts,” Rysz said.

The FBI said he planned to attack a university outside of Massachusetts with assault rifles and explosives. He also intended to broadcast the execution of students live over the internet, the FBI said.

When he was arrested, those alleged attacks were thwarted, but it didn't stop him from injuring the first innocent person he came in contact with immediately after. Police said Ciccolo stabbed a nurse in the head with a pen while she was giving him a routine physical exam.

Ciccolo's family said he suffers from mental illness.  

Ciccolo, who is facing weapons charges, is expected to face a judge at U.S. District Court in Springfield, Ma. for a bail hearing. His hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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