As the Pope gets ready for his American tour, ABC News is reporting that the “FBI quietly arrested a 15-year-old boy outside of Philadelphia last month for allegedly threatening to launch an ISIS-inspired assault on Pope Francis while the world leader tours the United States next week.”
ABC News uncovered a joint intelligence bulletin by the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security that was issued to law enforcement on August 14th. It read, “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.”
More from ABC News:
The “foreign dignitary” mentioned in that bulletin is the Pope, who will finish his U.S. trip with two days of events in Philadelphia, sources told ABC News. In fact, the case is what the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul, was likely referring to Sunday when he disclosed that U.S. authorities “have disrupted one particular case” involving threats to attack the Pope, sources said.
“The minor obtained explosives instructions and further disseminated these instructions through social media,” according to the joint intelligence bulletin.
The boy has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and attempting to provide material support to terrorist activity, the bulletin added.
But sources familiar with the case emphasized that any threat from him was not imminent, and that the boy’s plans were “aspirational.” Additionally, the sources said, there are questions about the boy’s mental health.
What do you think of ISIS’ ability to recruit young Americans online? Tell us below in the comments!