The son of a Boston police captain has been accused of plotting to detonate pressure-cooker bombs at an unidentified university and to broadcast the executions of students live online—terrorist acts aimed at supporting ISIS, authorities say. Alexander Ciccolo's father alerted authorities last fall that his son had a long history of mental illness and was talking about joining ISIS, according to two law-enforcement officials who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. The 23-year-old was charged in a criminal complaint unsealed yesterday with illegal possession of a firearm for receiving four guns July 4 from a person cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force. Ciccolo was barred from having a gun because of a drunk-driving conviction.
His father, Robert Ciccolo, is a 27-year veteran of the Boston police force. "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," his parents said in a statement. In court documents, the FBI said Alexander Ciccolo, also known as Abu Ali al-Amriki, had talked with the cooperating witness in recorded conversations in June about his plans to commit acts inspired by ISIS. He initially talked about killing civilians, police officers, and members of the US military, but he later said he wanted instead to attack a state university outside Massachusetts because more people would be there, according to the FBI.