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Idaho State News

Coeur d’Alene Man Arrested for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS

COEUR D’ALENE – Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, of Coeur d’Alene, was arrested Saturday,
April 6, 2024 in Coeur d’Alene for attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS,
U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit announced today.

According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Mercurio pledged his allegiance
to ISIS and intended to commit attacks on its behalf. He planned to attack individuals at churches
in Coeur d’Alene on April 7, 2024, using weapons, including knives, firearms, and fire.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) conducted the investigation and thwarted Mercurio’s
violent plot. Mercurio is currently in custody awaiting his initial appearance, which will be set by
the Court.

“As alleged in the complaint, the defendant swore an oath of loyalty to ISIS and planned to wage
an attack in its name on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” said Attorney General Merrick B.
Garland. “Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, the defendant was taken into custody
before he could act, and he is now charged with attempting to support ISIS’s mission of terror and
violence. The Justice Department will continue to relentlessly pursue, disrupt, and hold
accountable those who would commit acts of terrorism against the people and interests of the
United States.”

“The defendant allegedly pledged loyalty to ISIS and sought to attack people attending churches
in Idaho, a truly horrific plan which was detected and thwarted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task
Force,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “This investigation demonstrates the FBI’s steadfast
commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to stop those who wish to commit acts of
violence on behalf of – or inspired by – foreign terrorist groups.”

“Across the Department of Justice, and in my office, we have no higher calling than to protect our
nation and our communities from terrorism. Along with our law enforcement partners, my office
will always remain laser-focused on this part of our mission,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit. “I
want to thank the FBI for its tireless work on this investigation and its thorough efforts to prevent
violence. The support from local law enforcement was also integral to successfully disrupting the
alleged plot.”

“This case should be an eye-opener to the dangers of self-radicalization, which is a real threat to
our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the Salt Lake City FBI.
“Protecting the American people from terrorism remains the FBI’s number one priority, and we
continue to encourage the public to report anything suspicious to the FBI or your local law
enforcement.”

Mercurio is charged by a federal complaint with attempting to provide material support or
resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, Mercurio faces a maximum
of 20 years in federal prison. A federal district court judge would determine any sentence after
considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI is investigating the case with valuable assistance provided by the Coeur d’Alene Police
Department, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ada County Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heather S. Patricco and David G. Robins and First Assistant U.S.
Attorney Justin D. Whatcott for the District of Idaho, and Charles Kovats and Andrea Broach of
the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

Criminal Complaint and Affidavit can be viewed here: 002_MercurioA_Complaint and Affidavit

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