As the world prepares to head out and celebrate the arrival of a new year tonight, scary news from upstate New York: Authorities have arrested a 25-year-old man for allegedly planning a New Year's Eve attack at an unnamed bar or restaurant in Rochester, reports NBC New York.
Emanuel Lutchman has officially been charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS. His plot was discovered by an undercover FBI informant who Lutchman began communicating with in November; during this time, Lutchman allegedly confessed his hatred for America and his desire to join ISIS in Syria.
According to the criminal complaint, earlier this month Lutchman informed the undercover agent that he had been in contact with an ISIS member in Syria. Because the man had no prior relationship with the terrorist group, Lutchman said the ISIS member suggested he prove himself by engaging in a New Year's Eve attack "to kill as many Americans as possible." On Monday, Lutchman met another FBI agent posing as an ISIS supporter and confided in him about the plans for his attack. "He said he didn't have funds for weaponry, but said they could use knives for the attack," says NBC 4, later making a Walmart supply run and purchasing "ski masks, zip ties, knives, a machete, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves."
Per WBNG, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement today reassuring citizens of their safety:
The arrest of Emanuel Lutchman is an important reminder of the new normal of global terrorism. Today law enforcement did their job well – but the challenges we face have never been greater, and it is incumbent on every citizen to be diligent and responsible. I want to reassure all New Yorkers and our state’s visitors that we are taking every precaution to keep people safe, and are in regular contact with our partners in both the federal government and local communities, statewide. I commend the Department of Justice as well as the FBI’s Rochester area Joint Terrorism Task Force, including the State Police, for their hard work and diligence in preventing this possible attack.
Lutchman, who previously served five years in New York State for second-degree robbery, was arrested Wednesday. Meanwhile in Syria, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing of two restaurants that killed at least 16 people on Wednesday night. Sadly, terrorist attacks targeting restaurants have filled headlines lately: Mid-November's string of attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people targeted a number of restaurants, some of which began reopening earlier this month.
Watch the NBC news report, below: