Court Convicts A Man of Plotting to Bomb a Nigerian Church in US | Terrorism


Man Sentenced to Jail in the US for Plotting to Bomb A Nigerian Church

A federal court in the United States has sentenced a 24-year-old Pennsylvania man by the name, Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, to 17 years (208 and 3 months) in jail for plotting to bomb a Nigerian church in Pittsburg, US.

The defendant made the plan with support from an international terrorist organization, the Islamic States of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). He pleaded guilty to attempting to offer material support to ISIS with the plan to attack the church on September 16, 2021.

Court Convicts A Man for Plotting to Bomb a Nigerian Church in US | Terrorism

Details of the Plot to Bomb a US-based Nigerian Church

In a press release by the US Department of Justice signed by Assistant Attorney-General Matthew G. Olsen of DOJ National Security Division on Wednesday, the department stated;

“The National Security Division was created to protect the nation from terrorist threats and we remain vigilant against those who would plot violent attacks on US soil in furtherance of an extreme ideology.”

“The defendant’s plan to bomb a Pittsburgh church and risk death or injury to residents in the area in the name of ISIS was thwarted by the extraordinary work of the Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force,” Olsen said.

Mr. Olsen thanked the US security operatives and promised that the Department will continue to protect the safety of American communities and also fight against terrorism, especially in the US homeland.

“Our office will continue to hold accountable individuals who threaten the safety of our communities.”

“I want to commend the great work of our Joint Terrorism Task Force, and that of their partners and sources, in successfully thwarting a planned terrorist attack in the name of ISIS,” said Assistant Director Robert R. Wells of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division.

“Alowemer’s plan to conduct an attack at a church in Pittsburgh and inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States was unsuccessful thanks to the efforts of law enforcement officials at both the federal and state level. This sentencing demonstrates the commitment we share with our partners to pursuing justice against those who violate our laws and seek to harm innocents in our communities.”

A report by Vanguard reveals that Alowemer plotted to bomb the Nigerian church using an explosive device. His motivation to conduct such an attack was to support the course of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in the United States to join together and commit similar acts in the name of ISIS.

Allowemer aims to attack the church which he described as a “Nigerian Christian” church in May 2019 to “take revenge for our (ISIS) brothers in Nigeria.” He, however, mistakenly exposed the plan to an FBI agent who disguised himself as a member of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The statement added that after the 17 years jail term, Alowemer’s jail term would be followed by a lifetime of supervised release by the US operatives.

Terrorism in Nigeria and the Rise of Christian Persecution

Terrorism is on the rise in Nigeria. The major terrorist organizations in the country are Boko Haram and Islamic States West African Province (ISWAP). ISWAP is an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Terrorism in Nigeria has taken tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions of Nigerians, especially in the Northern region of the country where there is a Muslim majority and a Christian minority. Churches and Christians have been the major target of the terrorists, however, Muslim communities had also been victims of the recent attacks by ISIS.

The fact that such a plot is targeting Nigerian churches outside Nigeria shows the level of persecution faced by the church in Nigeria. Meanwhile, Nigeria was recently categorized by Jihad Analytics as the second most terrorized nation in the world after Iraq.

Moreover, The International Christian Concern, in a report on 15 May 2022, described Nigeria as the world's scariest country in which to be a Christian. Study shows that there are more Christian persecutions in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia, the spiritual headquarters of Islam.

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