This is the story of a brave father, who is to be commended for doing the right thing, as well as an unfortunate illustration of the adage, “It can happen to anyone.”
Police Captain Robert Ciccolo, a first responder in the Boston marathon bombing, tipped off counter-terrorism officials when he saw his son “was going off the deep end” and “spouting extremist jihadist sympathies.”
It turned out to be an act that most likely saved dozens of lives, if not more.
Alexander Ciccolo, 25, had said he wanted to join ISIS. It turned out he was planning a mass-scale terror attack, most likely at a state university, either in a dorm or a cafeteria, “executions of students, which would be broadcast live via the internet.”
When Ciccolo was arrested, a search of his apartment yielded bomb-making equipment, including chemicals and a pressure cooker. Molotov cocktails were in the process of being constructed, the type that create a fire designed to stick to the victim’s skin making it difficult to put out the flames.
He had already received four guns from a witness cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force.
This week, Ciccolo pleaded guilty to planning the attack. He faces 20 years in prison.
Ciccolo who now goes by the name of Abu Ali al-Amriki, was quietly arrested on July 4, 2015 as part of a broad-based counter-terrorism operation by U.S. security officials that saw the arrest of more than 10 individuals with suspected connections to the Islamic State—all of whom were thought to be planning attacks on the national holiday.
His grieving father is most likely well aware that the process of radicalization can be for unexpected reasons. In fact, most of us have been schooled by the mainstream media that radicalization is a result of poverty, psychological instability, religious persecution and the like. Yet, studies have shown that is not necessarily the case.
Read our infographic below and get educated about the “5 Jihadi Radicalization Myths.”