Pennsylvania Man Gets 17 Years For Plotting Church Bombing

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 24, was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to providing material support to ISIS with his plan to attack a church in Pittsburgh.

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said, “Alowemer admitted to planning a deadly bombing of a Pittsburgh church in the name of ISIS. The National Security Division was created to protect the nation from terrorist threats and we remain vigilant against those who would plot violent attacks on U.S. soil in furtherance of an extreme ideology.”

Law enforcement discovered Alowemer’s plot after he met four different times with an undercover FBI agent. He sent instructions on building improvised explosive devices to the undercover agent who he believed to be a fellow ISIS supporter. Alowemer also purchased the materials that were to be used in the bomb.

According to the DOJ website, “Alowemer provided printed copies of detailed Google satellite maps, which included hand-written markings identifying the church and routes of arrival and escape. Alowemer also wrote and provided a 10-point handwritten plan outlining details related to his plot to personally deliver explosives in a backpack. Alowemer expressed a desire to meet one more time to conduct planning and coordination prior to carrying out the attempted bombing in July 2019. That meeting was later scheduled for June 19 in the Pittsburgh area, at which time Alowemer was arrested.”

Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI Counterterrorism Division said, “Alowemer’s plan to conduct an attack at a church in Pittsburgh and inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States was unsuccessful thanks to the efforts of law enforcement officials at both the federal and state level. This sentencing demonstrates the commitment we share with our partners to pursuing justice against those who violate our laws and seek to harm innocents in our communities.”

Alowemer pleaded guilty on September 16, 2021, after being arrested in 2019. His arrest was made possible by the work of the Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force. The DOJ website lists 14 different organizations involved in the joint task force, all of whom worked together to make the arrest.