The Syrian man who was recently charged with plotting an ISIS-inspired attack on a Christian church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had reportedly planned to obtain permanent residency in the United States, and had been in contact with an ISIS supporter in Wisconsin.
Syrian national Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, was charged with plotting to bomb a Christian church—the Legacy International Worship Center in Pittsburgh.
Mustafa Mousab Alowemer’s neighbors — many of whom attended the same church he is charged with planning to blow up in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham — described him as”quiet but friendly.”
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (@PittsburghPG) June 20, 2019
Alowemer, who resided in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had arrived in the United States from Syria almost three years ago on Aug. 1, 2016, and was granted RE3 status, indicating he was the child of a refugee.
A federal law enforcement official confirmed to Breitbart News that Alowemer was in the process of trying to secure permanent residency in the country when he was arrested.
Breitbart noted that Alowemer’s entry to the United States occurred under the Obama administration’s refugee resettlement program, which the outlet says had facilitated mass migration “particularly from nations like Syria, Sudan, Iraq and Iran.”
“Between 2009 and the end of Obama’s second term, more than 19,100 Syrian refugees were admitted to the U.S.—more than 18,500 of which are Sunni Muslims,” Breitbart News reported.
President Donald Trump reversed Obama’s migration policy soon after taking office and implemented a travel ban for seven terror-prone countries—Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen—where nearly nearly all citizens of such countries are banned indefinitely from entering the United States.
Wisconsin ISIS-Supporter Connection
Alowemer was also in contact in April and May of 2018 with a woman in Wisconsin, who is an ISIS supporter, a federal criminal complaint on June 18 noted.
“Among other things, [the woman] was alleged to have used hacked social networking accounts to collect and distribute information on how to make explosives and biological weapons,” the federal complaint reads.
“Earlier this year Person 1 pleaded guilty in federal court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin to attempting to provide material support to a [Foreign Terrorist Organization] (i.e., ISIS),” it continued.
While she is unnamed in the complaint, in April this year, a 46-year-old Wisconsin woman, Waheba Issa Dais, was convicted of trying to provide material support to ISIS.
Cudahy Resident Waheba Dais Pleads Guilty To Attempted Material Support of ISIShttps://t.co/Y9SbI0YJjr
— US Attorney EDWI (@EDWInews) April 22, 2019
“Dais’s support took the form of expert advice and assistance to ISIS, which she provided in early 2018,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a press release.
Dais, a mother of seven, is an Israeli-Arab who had entered the United States in 1992.
In April, she admitted to hacking Facebook accounts in order to encourage other ISIS supporters and tried to recruit new members to ISIS.
A Wisconsin mother of seven pleaded guilty Monday to trying to plan terrorist attacks on behalf of the Islamic State group. Authorities say Waheba Issa Dais distributed information online about how to make explosives and biological weapons. https://t.co/jN3RDfU2Cw
— AP Central U.S. (@APCentralRegion) April 23, 2019
The DOJ said in the release that on one occasion, she posted videos that gave step-by-step instructions on how to make an explosive belt and TNT, and then gave a detailed recipe for the poison Ricin.
Furthermore, Dais had other encrypted social media channels through which she encouraged ISIS supporters to carry out attacks in their home countries.
“Through those encrypted channels, she also provided detailed information about explosives, guns, attack planning, and target selection,” the DOJ press release stated.
Statement by Assistant Director Michael McGarrity, of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division on Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, a Syrian man, arrested on terrorism charges after planning attack on Christian church. https://t.co/kmxDl08ufT pic.twitter.com/T2KM9k7sqg
— FBI (@FBI) June 20, 2019
On June 19, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Alowemer saying that he had planned to bomb the Pittsburgh church sometime in July.
#BREAKING: Pittsburgh resident, Syrian man arrested on terrorism charges after planning an attack on a local Christian church — according to investigators.
Suspect: 21-year-old Mustafa Mousab Alowemer@WTAE https://t.co/F8yek9SYBl pic.twitter.com/J9FJ8sQVQ5
— Janelle Hall (@JanelleHallWTAE) June 19, 2019
“Alowemer was aware that numerous people in or around the Church could be killed by the explosion,” the DOJ said in a release.