FBI nabs Boston police captain’s son, who planned ISIS-inspired attack on Fourth of July

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By Mark Ellis

Alexander Ciccolo (ABC News)
Alexander Ciccolo (ABC News)

The son of an esteemed Boston police captain was arrested July 4th as he planned ISIS-inspired terror attacks against a college campus, according to ABC News.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, of Adams, Mass., was taken into custody on gun charges after he purchased two rifles and two pistols from an undercover FBI confidential informant, federal officials told ABC News.

Captain Robert Ciccolo
Captain Robert Ciccolo

In a search of his apartment, officials said it was filled with bomb-making equipment including a pressure cooker, a variety of chemicals, an alarm clock, “attack planning papers” and “jihad” paperwork.

FBI agents said he adopted the name Abu Ali al-Amriki, which means ‘Ali the American,’ and neighbors said he had been a recent convert to Islam. Ciccolo was estranged from his father and the two had minimal contact in the last few years.

The younger Ciccolo suffered from mental illness and had been in and out of mental institutions since he was a child, according to a report by CNN.

“This is a very bad person arrested before he could do very bad things,” one senior federal official briefed on the arrest told ABC News.

Last week FBI Director James Comey said agents had taken into custody more than 10 people with suspected ties to ISIS and that the arrests thwarted attacks planned on the Fourth of July.

“I do believe that our work disrupted efforts to kill people, likely in connection with July 4th,” Comey said.

Ciccolo’s arrest was among the ones that interrupted a planned attack, officials stated.

An FBI affidavit said Ciccolo originally planned to go to “another state” and use the pressure cooker bomb against law enforcement personnel and U.S. military locations.

Weapons purchased by the younger Ciccolo
Weapons purchased by the younger Ciccolo

But Ciccolo abruptly changed his plan and decided to target “college dorms and cafeteria, to include executions of students, which would be broadcast live via the internet.”

Ciccolo’s father, veteran Boston police Captain Robert Ciccolo, was one of those to respond to the horrific Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. According to the FBI, the younger Ciccolo said he was “inspired” by the Marathon bombing and the use of pressure cooker bombs, and told the FBI undercover operative, “Allahu Akbar!!! I got the pressure cooker today.”

Law enforcement officials said Capt. Ciccolo alerted counter-terrorism authorities roughly a year ago concerning his son, and told them he, “was going off the deep end” and “spouting extremist jihadist sympathies.”

The younger Ciccolo recently stated that he is, “not afraid to die for the cause,” and that he characterized America as ”Satan” and “disgusting,” according to ABC News.

Ciccolo participated in a Peace Walk against nuclear power in 2012
Ciccolo participated in a Peace Walk against nuclear power in 2012

Ciccolo posted an online photo of a dead American soldier and wrote, “Thank you Islamic State. Now we won’t have to deal with these kafir back in America.” Kafir is a reference to non-believers of Islam.

In a meeting with an FBI undercover witness, Ciccolo praised the recent terror attack on a beach resort in Tunisia that killed 39 people. “Awesome. Awesome, you that ah, that brother in Tunisia was impressive,” Ciccolo allegedly said.

The younger Ciccolo is scheduled to appear in court July 14th for a detention hearing.