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FBI Arrests 18-Year-Old in ISIS Plot to Murder American Churchgoers

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ABOVE: The criminal complaint against Alexander Scott Mercurio from April 9, 2024. Mercurio, 18, is charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS and planning to attack a Coeur d'Alene church. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Federal authorities have thwarted an alleged terror plot in the U.S. in the latest disturbing development on the national security front.

An Idaho man is facing federal terrorism charges after authorities say he was going to attack churches in his hometown of Coeur d'Alene.

The FBI arrested Alexander Mercurio just hours before he planned to kill churchgoers and set fire to their buildings.

Authorities say the 18-year-old is allegedly an ISIS sympathizer. He reportedly told an informant he was going to harm his father and steal his weapons, then go from church to church killing as many people as possible until he was killed.

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On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned of the increasing threat of terror attacks in the U.S.

"While we continue to be concerned about individuals or small groups drawing some kind of twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home, the foreign terrorist threat, and the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, like the ISIS attack we saw at the Russia concert hall just a couple weeks ago, is now increasingly concerning," Wray said.

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Wray also listed the key foreign state threats to the U.S., naming China, Russia and Iran, and calling China "the defining threat" of our generation.

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