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Teen arrested day before he planned to attack churches in name of ISIS, feds say

After months of planning, federal officials say, 18-year-old Alexander Scott Mercurio was just a few days away from executing an attack on American soil in the name of the Islamic State militant group.

Mercurio detailed his plot to a man in a hotel, according to court documents: The Idaho teen said he would walk to a church from his home in Coeur d'Alene, kneecap churchgoers with a metal pipe, kill them with a knife, set off fires using small butane canisters and then try to wrestle a gun away from an officer once police arrived. He said he was committed to slaying as many people as he could before dying through suicide or an encounter with law enforcement.

What he didn't know is that the person he was talking to was an FBI informant.

Mercurio was arrested Saturday and charged in District of Idaho federal court with providing support to a terrorist organization. No attorney was listed for him in the federal courts system. He remained in the Kootenai County jail in Coeur d'Alene as of Tuesday afternoon, according to records.


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