PITTSBURGH, Pa. (KDKA) — A Syrian refugee plotted to bomb a local church, federal officials say. Now, we’re working to learn more about that man who graduated from Brashear High School just a few years ago.
According to the FBI, Mustafa Alowemer, who was arrested Wednesday, was gathering the necessary materials to destroy the Legacy International Worship Center on Wilson Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Perry South neighborhood.
“It was actually like really scary, because I have a lot of siblings who live down the street,” said Steven Bermudez, who lives near the church.
They said he purchased the materials to make a bomb, constructed plans and even created a detailed map.
His plans included delivering the explosives inside a backpack.
KDKA spoke with the pastor of the church.
“It was overwhelming, but I was indeed grateful, so that God protected us, God carried us and covered us I was overwhelmed but instantly became grateful,” said Michael Day, Legacy International Worship Center Pastor.
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Investigators say it appeared to be a well-thought out plan.
The criminal complaint says for months, Alowemer believed he was working with a supporter to follow-through with the bombing.
But it wasn’t a supporter, it was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Alowemer, who has been in the U-S since 2016, is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive device or weapon of mass destruction.
He was supposed to be in federal court Wednesday afternoon, but that has been pushed to Friday so a lawyer could represent him.