Officials have announced the arrest of Emanuel Lutchman, a 25-year-old from Rochester, New York who was talking with an FBI informant he thought was an ISIS member about the possibility of attacking a Rochester bar on New Years Eve “for ISIS.”
Lutchman initially contacted the informant with an eye toward going abroad, but the FBI informant convinced him he needed to carry out an attack inside the US “to prove himself.” Lutchman apparently had no weapons, and no money to get any, so he got the informant to go with him to Walmart to buy knives and ski masks for a potential attack.
Officials say they believe Lutchman, who describes himself as a “Muslim convert,” became radicalized in Attica prison, where he served five years for second-degree robbery. As with so many other FBI arrests, there is no sign Lutchman ever was in contact with anyone in ISIS, nor that if left to his own devices, he even could’ve gotten his own knives at Walmart.
Lutchman is facing charges of providing “material support” for terrorism, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Since he couldn’t even buy his own knife, the fine seems highly unlikely to be collected.