Grand jury indicts Syrian refugee for alleged terror plot at North Side church |

Grand jury indicts Syrian refugee for alleged terror plot at North Side church

Megan Guza
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, shown in a still image taken from a video he allegedly sent to an undercover FBI agent he believed was a fellow ISIS sympathizer. The video allegedly comes from “Alowemer’s bay’aa,” a term federal agents said ISIS supporters use to demonstrate commitment to the group.

A federal grand jury indicted a 21-year-old Syrian refugee on charges he concocted plans to blow up a Pittsburgh church in the name of the terrorist organization ISIS, according to court records unsealed Thursday.

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, who lived with his family in Northview Heights, has been in federal custody since June 19 when he was charged by complaint with one count of attempting to provide support to ISIS and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive device.

The indictment differs from the complaint in that it is a finding by a grand jury that there is probable cause for the charges listed in the complaint.

Alowemer is accused of spending months communicating with two men he believed were fellow ISIS sympathizers, making plans to bomb the Legacy International Worship Center, a small stone church on the residential Wilson Street.

An attorney for Alowemer said during a preliminary hearing June 21 that the alleged plotting and planning by the 21-year-old was “puffery and bragging.”

The grand jury returned the indictment Wednesday, and it was unsealed a day later.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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