Editor’s Note: Oh COME ON. Who wants to call b.s. on this?
A 15-year-old Philadelphia boy has been arrested over an alleged threat to launch a “homeland attack…targeting a foreign dignitary,” the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said in a joint briefing. ABC News reported that the target was Pope Francis.
“The minor was inspired by [ISIS] and sought to conduct a detailed homeland attack which included multiple attackers, firearms and multiple explosives, targeting a foreign dignitary at a high-profile event,” read the brief, which was issued on August 14.
Although the dignitary was not named in the brief, ABC cited unnamed sources, stating that Pope Francis was the target.
The boy’s identity has not been revealed, but the government said that the plot had been aspirational rather than planned. A source also told ABC that there had been questions as to the boy’s mental health.
“The minor obtained explosives instructions and further disseminated these instructions through social media,” according to the joint intelligence bulletin. The teenager was discovered to have had multiple firearms in his possession and was allegedly inspired by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
He was charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and attempting to provide material support to terrorist activity, the bulletin added.
ABC reported that the bulletin had noted “several recent instances” that “demonstrate some youth are vulnerable to messaging from [ISIS] and its supporters.”
“These incidents also show that some US-based youth are willing to connect over social media with like-minded persons, and have proven adept at obfuscating such social media usage from their parents and guardians,” the bulletin added.
There were no details on how the teenager was identified by the FBI, who the ‘multiple’ attackers were, or further details on the alleged threatened attack.
Authorities have already begun preparing tight security for when Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, is scheduled to make his first visit the United States next week since the start of his papacy.
The five-day visit is set to be a landmark event with activities in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York.
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