BOSTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The son of a Boston police captain was facing charges Monday in connection with a plot to commit terrorist acts on behalf of ISIS.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, of Adams, Massachusetts is accused in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday of receiving four guns July 4 from a person cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force.

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CBS Boston reports that Ciccolo was also known as Ali Al Amriki.

Alexander Ciccolo, the son of a Boston police captain, is charged with plotting terror attacks on behalf of ISIS. (Credit: CBS2)

Alexander Ciccolo, the son of a Boston police captain, is charged with plotting terror attacks on behalf of ISIS. (Credit: CBS2)

As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, sources told WBZ-TV Ciccolo’s father, Police Capt. Robert Ciccolo turned his estranged son in to authorities. He alerted of his fears of the comments he was making, sources said.

“While we were saddened and disappointed to learn of our son’s intentions, we are grateful that authorities were able to prevent any loss of life or harm to others,” the Ciccolo family said in a statement. “At this time, we would ask that the public and the media recognize our grief and respect our desire for privacy.”


Authorities said the suspect talked with cooperating witness about committing acts inspired by ISIS, and about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Police made the arrest after they say Ciccolo took delivery of four firearms, including two rifles, and two pistols from the cooperating witness.

An FBI affidavit Ciccolo had talked with the cooperating witness in recorded conversations about his plans to commit acts inspired by the Islamic State group, including setting off pressure-cooker bombs at an unidentified university. According to the affidavit, he said the attack would include executions of students broadcast live online.

They said Ciccolo would target public places such as college cafeterias, and use explosive devices such as pressure cookers filled with black powder, nails and glass.

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Before his arrest, agents had observed Ciccolo buying a pressure cooker similar to those used in the Boston Marathon bombings.

Agents said they also found partially constructed Molotov cocktails — made of Styrofoam and motor oil — that would stick to the skin and create a fire that would be hard to extinguish.

The affidavit also stated that Ciccolo originally planned to target a police station, but later decided to target a university. He planned to attack “before Ramadan was over, and no later than July 31,” according to the affidavit, CBS News reported.

“The attack would be concentrated in the college dorms and cafeteria, to include executions of students which would be broadcast live via the Internet,” the report says. “If a student was Muslim, then they would be permitted to help, sit tight, or leave.”

They also said his attack would include executions of students broadcast live on-line.

Sources said Ciccolo’s police captain father tipped off authorities after his noticing son undergo serious changes in his behavior.

“Bob is at tremendous police officer. He’s had a distinguished career over the last 25 years. Just a very impressive guy,” said former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, “and to have this in own family is terrible.”

Authorities said suspect Ciccolo has a history of mental illness, and has been in and out of facilities since a very young age.

A detention hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Ciccolo’s arrest comes after several people in the Tri-State area were accused of attempting to join ISIS or, failing that, plotting to commit terrorist attacks here at home.

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