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New York Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Terrorism Plot

  • VOA News

FILE- Emanuel Lutchman, of Rochester, New York, was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison and 50 years of supervised release on terrorism charges.

The U.S. Justice Department says a federal district court in New York has sentenced a man convicted of terrorism charges to 20 years in prison and 50 years of supervised release.

The Justice Department said Thursday that Emanuel Lutchman, 26, received his sentence for conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State. The group is a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Mary McCord, acting assistant attorney general for National Security, said Lutchman "conspired with an ISIL [Islamic State] member located overseas and planned to kill innocent civilians on U.S. soil in the name of the terrorist organization."

The defendant "was in direct personal communication with an individual who was an external attack planner and influential recruiter for ISIL in Syria," acting U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said.

Court documents name the Syrian contact as Abu Issa Al-Amriki, a known IS leader who is now deceased but was communicating with Lutchman in 2015, according to Lutchman.

Lutchman has admitted to conspiring with Al-Amriki in 2015 to conduct an attack against civilians using knives and a machete on January 31 of that year.

Lutchman said he planned to conduct an attack that could be claimed by the terrorist group in order to gain membership in the organization.

Court documents say Lutchman posted support for the group on social media, including images, videos and documents related to Islamic State and violent jihad, or holy war.

Documents also said Lutchman downloaded and watched terrorism videos and maintained a digital collection of terrorism-related documents, including those meant to provide guidance to would-be terrorists plotting so-called "lone wolf" attacks in the United States or elsewhere.

Documents say Lutchman initiated contact with Al-Amriki on Dec. 25, 2015, and agreed in subsequent communications to attack and kill as many people as possible in a U.S.-based attack.

Lutchman then made contact with three other individuals affiliated with the FBI who were posing as fellow would-be terrorists, to whom Lutchman admitted his intentions and from whom he solicited support.

Lutchman has admitted that with his contacts, he identified a location in Rochester, New York, as a target; obtained weapons and supplies, and discussed making a video that Islamic State could use after the attack to prove his allegiance.

After Lutchman made the video, he was arrested by law enforcement officials and the weapons and supplies were confiscated. He has been in federal custody since Dec. 30, 2015.

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