Alexander Ciccolo, 23, of Massachusetts, the son of a respected police captain is seen defending ISIS in interrogation videos following his July 4th arrest as part of counter-terrorism operations against alleged ISIS-inspired domestic attacks.

Ciccolo was taken into custody on gun charges after buying two pistols and two rifles from an undercover FBI informant. After searching his apartment, federal officials recovered possible bomb-making equipment including a pressure cooker, chemicals, an alarm clock, “planning papers”, and “jihad” propaganda.  FBI agents said he was going by Abu Ali al-Amriki and neighbors described him as a recent convert to Islam.

Ciccolo allegedly attempted to stab a nurse in the head with a pen during a routine screening.

According to the FBI, Ciccolo initially planned to travel to “another state” and use a pressure cooker bomb “to conduct terrorist attacks on civilians, members of the U.S. military and law enforcement personnel.” The attack location was later changed to an unspecified town housing a state university and would be concentrated on the “college dorms and cafeteria, to include executions of students, which would be broadcast live via the Internet.”

Ciccolo’s father is Boston Police Captain Robert Ciccolo, a veteran officer assigned to the Boston Police headquarters. According to reports, he responded to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings.  According to the FBI, Ciccolo was “inspired” by the marathon bombing and the use of pressure cooker bombs.  Law enforcement officials said Capt. Ciccolo alerted counter-terrorism authorities with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force about a year ago that his son, with whom he had had minimal contact for several years, “was going off the deep end” and that he constantly talked about “jihadist sympathies” and extremist views. They immediately began surveillance.

“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,” the Ciccolo family statement read, “At this time, we would ask that the public and the media recognize our grief and respect our desire for privacy.”

In a meeting with an FBI witness, Ciccolo praised the recent terror attack on a beach resort in Tunisia, which killed 39 people, “Awesome. Awesome…that brother in Tunisia was impressive.”  Ciccolo is being held in Rhode Island awaiting trial.  Last week FBI Director James Comey said agents had arrested more than 10 people with suspected ties to ISIS and that the busts foiled planned Fourth of July attacks. Ciccolo’s arrest is one of those.

Jun Yasuda, a Buddhist who walked with Ciccolo in a 2012 “peace walk” said that Ciccolo appeared to understand what a non-violence protest was all about and he seemed “concerned about peace.”

“We walked together after Fukushima, and he realized that he had an open mind and that people were wonderful,” Yasuda said.

Ciccolo was seen on an interrogation video played at his bail hearing telling an FBI agent, “[ISIS is] doing a good thing.”  He went onto say that ISIS is trying to free people from oppression.  The FBI Agent asked Ciccolo if everyone in the United States is an enemy and he responded, “Yes.”

“People that you see being executed are criminals, they’re criminals. They’re the lowest of the low,” Ciccolo said about the victims ISIS has executed in videos released on the Internet.

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