Maine 19-year-old will plead guilty in mosque attack plot

A 19-year-old Maine man has agreed to plead guilty to plotting a terror attack on a mosque in the state.

The US Attorney's Office for the District of Maine announced on Monday that the defendant, who has not been identified, had entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that would see him plead guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

The plea agreement, which has not yet been filed in court, was announced by the US Attorney's Office in a statement.

According to the statement, the defendant was arrested in October 2020 after an investigation revealed that he had been planning to carry out an attack on a mosque in the state.

The defendant allegedly discussed his plans with an undercover FBI agent, who he believed was an ISIS supporter. He provided the agent with a list of possible targets and expressed a desire to obtain weapons and explosives to carry out the attack.

The defendant is scheduled to appear in court later this month to enter his plea. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case is being investigated by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes members of the Portland Police Department.

The plea agreement comes at a time when national security experts are warning of a growing threat from domestic terrorists, particularly those inspired by white supremacist ideology.

The US Attorney's Office said the case is a reminder of the need for continued vigilance in the fight against terrorism.

“This case is a reminder that we must remain ever vigilant in the fight against terrorism and those who would seek to harm our communities. We are committed to using all available tools to thwart those who seek to harm our communities,” said US Attorney Halsey Frank.