Emanuel L. Lutchman, the ex-convict turned Muslim convert who recently admitted helping ISIS, faces up to 20 years in prison.
Lutchman, a resident of Rochester, recently pleaded guilty to providing material support to the terrorist organization as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
In the agreement, Lutchman says he conspired with Abu Issa Al-Amriki, a now-deceased member of ISIS in Syria, to plan an attack in Rochester using knives and a machete on New Years Eve of last year.
“Emanuel Lutchman admitted to conspiring with an (ISIS) member located overseas and planned to kill innocent civilians on U.S. soil in the name of the terrorist organization,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin said in a statement.
Central to the government’s prosecution of Lutchman was the allegation that he had contact with a member of ISIS in Syria and asked for advice on how to join the organization.
The FBI, in its original complaint, claimed the “overseas Individual” identified himself as a member of ISIS. Agents also contend that the contact encouraged Lutchman to prove himself by killing Americans here.
In his plea deal, Lutchman admitted he and Al-Amriki discussed potential targets in Rochester, and that Al-Amriki suggested he look for well populated areas so a large number of people could be killed.
“Residents of this community can now sleep better knowing that a person who wanted to kill in the name of an infamous terrorist group – right on the streets of our city – will no longer be a threat,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. .
Lutchman, in his plea agreement, said he and another individual went to a store in Rochester and bought two black ski masks, two knives, a machete, zip-ties, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves, and that Lutchman told the individual “the operation is a go.”
Lutchman’s conviction is the result of an investigation by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Rochester.