ISIS is finding supporters even in the far reaches of upstate New York. Federal authorities say a 25-year-old convicted robber was an ISIS sympathizer who planned to kill patrons at a Rochester restaurant/bar on New Year's Eve, the Democrat & Chronicle reports. Emanuel L. Lutchman was arrested and charged with attempting to provide material support to ISIS, per a Justice Department release. "As part of ... Lutchman's attempt to provide material support to [ISIS], he planned to kill innocent civilians on New Year's Eve," the assistant attorney general for national security said, per the release. "Thankfully, law enforcement was able to intervene and thwart Lutchman's deadly plans." In the criminal complaint, per NBC New York, Lutchman began communications with an FBI informant in November, in which he expressed his desire to join ISIS and said he'd told a supposed ISIS member in Syria he harbored "hatred for everything in America."
The alleged ISIS member then told Lutchman he'd have to "prove himself" before coming to Syria, per the complaint. Lutchman met with a second FBI informant Monday and detailed his plan, which involved maybe sneaking a bomb into a club or bar and kidnapping and killing people, court documents note. He then IDed his target venue, told the informant he could use knives, a machete, and a dagger in the attack, and then went to a local Walmart on Tuesday with yet another informant to buy supplies he'd need for kidnapping efforts, including ski masks, duct tape, and ammonia, the complaint notes. The US attorney for the Western District of New York had a further message directed toward other sympathizers. "What began as an [ISIS] directive to harm the community ended with the arrest of this defendant and a message for any other individuals considering similar behavior—you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be punished," he said in the release. (Another upstate New Yorker admitted trying to recruit for ISIS.)