An Adams, Mass. man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for planning an ISIS-inspired attack.
Alexander Ciccolo, aka Ali Al Amriki, 26, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release.
In May, Ciccolo pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, one count of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction, one count of being a convicted person in possession of firearms, and one count of assaulting a nurse during jail intake process by use of a deadly weapon causing bodily injury.
According to the Department of Justice, at the time of his arrest in July 2015, Ciccolo was planning to attack a university using firearms and improvised explosives. He was also attempting to recruit others to assist him in his attack.
“Alexander Ciccolo planned to kill innocent civilians in the United States on ISIS’s behalf,” said United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew E. Lelling. “Even though he was born and spent most of his life in Massachusetts, Ciccolo decided to turn against his country and plotted to attack his fellow Americans.”
Residents in Adams were shocked at the time of his arrest to learn there was a terrorist among them.
“I remember riding by and seeing a lot of stuff going on, didn’t know what was going on,” Debbie Duval said.
Duval and others said they never expected anything like it would happen in the small town of Adams.
“I guess you can never be too sure,” Ria Burns said. “I just thought it would only happen in the big city.”
Burns said she feels safe knowing Ciccolo was sentenced to 20 years. However, she and others question if it’s enough.
“Maybe a little more he should’ve gotten,” former Adams resident Christine Weslowski said. “But 20 years, if he’s off the street for 20 years, that’s good.”
Ciccolo is the estranged son of a respected Boston police captain. In 2015, he said he no longer supported ISIS.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Deepika Bains Shukla and Kevin O’Regan of Lelling’s Springfield Branch Office and Trial Attorney Andrew Sigler of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice prosecuted the case.