The teenager from Maine is now facing heightened terror*st allegations stemming from an alleged ISIS-inspired plot to att*ck a Shi’ite mosque in Chicago last spring.
Xavier Pelkey, 19, was charged twice as indictment in the US District Court of Maine on Thursday for conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism and possession of explosives, according to court files.
If convicted for terrorism, they face up to 15 years in prison. By Thursday morning, no indictment had been filed for the new indictment.
The replacement indictment significantly expands the allegations in an investigation that first came to light in February, when Pelkey was charged with possession of several shrapnel-filled homemade explosives allegedly found during a raid on a Waterville house he shared with his mother.
At the time, prosecutors in Maine said Pelkey was plotting online to travel to Chicago and commit “mass m*rder” at places of worship, the Tribune previously reported.
On February 5, one week before Pelkey’s arrest in Maine, agents in the Chicago area executed a search warrant for the home of a 15-year-old boy who was communicating with Pelkey online, according to a statement from FBI Special Agent Garrett Drawn.
Drew said the boy, identified only as “Youth # 1”, and Pelkey, who used the name “Abdullah” on Instagram, had conspired with a 17-year-old Kentucky boy to att*ck an “identified Chicago Shiite mosque on the acreage” in late March. coinciding with the spring break.
“Juveniles # 1 further explained that they would enter a Shi’ite mosque and separate the adults from the children and then m*rder the adults,” said Drew. “If they had not encountered law enforcement at this point, they would have moved to another Shi’ite mosque or Jewish synagogue and had followed the same plan.”
The teenager told investigators that they had no escape plan, “but rather their plan ended up being shot by law enforcement.”
According to Drew, Juvenile # 1 told investigators that Pelkey told him that he had already built an explosive device to “attract more people” and that he would be responsible for getting more firearms and ammunition.
According to the declaration, Pelkey and the Kentucky teenager, identified as “Juvenile No. 2”, intended to travel to Chicago by bus or train.
Agents confiscated many firearms during the raid on Juvenile’s # 1 home, including a Remington shotgun, as well as swords, knives, bow and arrows, many homemade ISIS flags, and many electronic devices, according to the declaration.
A week later, FBI agents in Kentucky executed a search warrant at Juvenile’s # 2 mansion. This boy told investigators that he was also communicating with Pelkey, who was talking about “collecting firework material to att*ck someone,” according to Drew’s statement.
“Youth # 2 also said that ‘Abdullah’ told him that he wanted Allah to make him a shaheed (martyr) and to die fighting for Allah,” wrote Drew.
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Admirers of Islamic extremist groups such as ISIS have historically att*cked other Islamic sects such as Shi’ites in terror*st att*cks, according to the declaration.
No public charges have been made against any of the minors.
Pelkey’s attorney Christopher Maclean did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Arguing for a teenage bondage earlier this year, he said his client was “an ex-young man” who has a loving, supportive family.
Although he did spend some time in juvenile detention, there was nothing in Pelkey’s past to suggest that he did not qualify for release under the circumstances, Maclean said, as transcribed.
Maclean also called the government’s allegations of a terror*st conspiracy in Chicago “posing to some extent” and that when all the facts are revealed, it becomes clear that “this is a much more mundane situation” than what is allegedly being made.
“He has certainly relinquished any wishes or intentions that the government made during the detention hearing and is fully committed to complying with whatever strict conditions the court places here,” Maclean said.
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