A New Jersey man is due in court Friday in connection with a plan to detonate a pressure cooker bomb in New York City in support of ISIS.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, of Point Pleasant, is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Police arrested Lepsky, who identified himself as Allah Abdel Rochmad, after he threatened to kill the family dog, because he believed that Islam teaches that dogs are “dirty.” While in custody, Lepsky said he was going to kill his mother and that he pledged his allegiance to “Allah,” according to court documents.
The dog was found hiding under a bed with a large slash on its back, but is still alive.
While searching the home, police found the pressure cooker behind a roll of bubble wrap in the suspect’s bedroom closet.
A search of his computer and social media yielded evidence Lepsky planned to detonate a bomb and fight on behalf of the Islamic State group, authorities said. According to court documents, Lepsky said “he was looking forward to more bombs and explosions happening very soon.”
Lepsky told others on social media that was willing to become a martyr for ISIS by driving a “bunch of explosives” to the “enemies” and “blowing himself up,” court documents allege.
Lepsky’s alleged plan was to put the bomb in a busy section of Manhattan to increase the fatalities, in the belief that he would be “rewarded in the afterlife for this act.”
Law enforcement also found step-by-step instructions on how to build a pressure cooker bomb that were published online by another terrorist group.
Investigators said they found a message between Lepsky and another ISIS supporter in which said that if Lepsky, as a Westerner, was unable to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS, he “could conduct a terrorist attack in his home country using improvised explosive devices,” according to prosecutors.
Lepsky’s initial court appearance is scheduled for Friday afternoon. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.