Syrian refugee pleads not guilty to church bomb plot charges
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Syrian refugee accused of plotting to bomb a Christian church in Pittsburgh to inspire Islamic State of Iraq followers has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges.
Mustafa Mousab Alowemer entered his plea Wednesday during his arraignment in federal court. His lawyers have dismissed the alleged plotting as “puffery and bragging.”
Alowemer is charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and two counts of distributing information about an explosive, destructive device, or weapon of mass destruction.
Authorities claim he had detailed plans to bomb the Legacy International Worship Center, a small Christian church.
Authorities say Alowemer was born in Syria and came to the United States in 2016. He was arrested last month while meeting with undercover FBI agents.