By Casey Harper
The FBI arrested and charged a New York man who allegedly planned to carry out a terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve at a Rochester bar or restaurant in the name of the Islamic State.
Police arrested Emanuel Lutchman, 25, of Rochester Wednesday and filed charges against him Thursday. Lutchman allegedly received instructions from ISIS members overseas who told him serving ISIS was “a dream come true.”
The feds obtained online communication between Lutchman and an ISIS contact where Lutchman said he wanted to kill millions of non-muslims to prove that he was a real ISIS loyalist. The ISIS contact’s response to him was to find the highest population center and “take as many as possible out.”
Lutchman’s attack plans changed multiple times, but he allegedly said in the ISIS correspondence he hated the U.S. and discussed using guns, a pressure cooker bomb, or knife for the attack. Lutchman allegedly planned to place a bomb in a club or bar and possibly kidnap bystanders, but ultimately planned to use a machete and kidnap someone, according to the report.
“The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year’s Eve,” Adam Cohen, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo division, said in a Department of Justice 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.”
Lutchman was charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“This New Year’s Eve prosecution underscores the threat of ISIL even in upstate New York but demonstrates our determination to immediately stop any who would cause harm in its name,” U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in a statement. “What began as an ISIL directive to harm the community ended with the arrest of this defendant and a message for any other individuals considering similar behavior – you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be punished.”
Correction: A previous version of this story stated the attack was planned for New York City, when it was actually Rochester. The copy has been updated.
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