NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 15-year-old New Jersey boy was arrested last month and charged with providing material support of terrorism, a law enforcement source said.
The source told CBS News the teen was allegedly communicating with someone believed to be a member of the Islamic State extremist group and was urged to attack a visiting diplomat or the pope.
Pope Francis will visit the United States from Sept. 22-27, making stops in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia. The United Nations General Assembly, which brings more than 170 diplomats to Manhattan, will also take place later this month.
The teen was allegedly asked to research online how to build an explosive. He was arrested Aug. 14, soon after he began his research, the source said.
The boy’s name has not been released.
Federal officials say the case is an example of how ISIS is trying to inspire and recruit young people to conduct an attack.
Law enforcement officials said there is no credible known threat against the pope during his U.S. stay.
On Monday, representatives from more than 50 agencies met in New York to discuss security measures for the papal visit and U.N. General Assembly.
During the exercise, representatives responded to a series of mock worst-case scenarios prepared by the Department of Homeland Security — a gunman at a hospital, another shooter at a train station, a power outage followed by a bomb explosion in Times Square.
“We believe this is probably the largest security event the department’s had to deal with because of the idea of, if you think of it, three major events — the president coming in at the tail end of it is normally a major undertaking for any city,” NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters.