The FBI revealed on Thursday night right ahead of New Year's Eve that a Muslim who pledged loyalty to Islamic State (ISIS) was arrested on Wednesday, for planning a bombing or machete attack on revelers.
The would-be attacker, 25-year-old Emanuel Lutchman of Rochester, New York, is an ex-con Muslim convert with mental issues according to NBC, and he was charged for trying to provide material support to ISIS.
FBI officials revealed Lutchman pledged allegiance to ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and was in contact with an ISIS jihadist in Syria who urged him to launch an attack on New Year's Eve and murder non-Muslims.
"New years (sic) is here soon. Do operations and kill some kuffar (a derogatory term for non-Muslims – ed.)," the jihadist in Syria told him according to the court papers.
Informants paid by the FBI helped catch Lutchman, with one paying for masks, zip-ties, knives, duct tape, ammonia and latex gloves that were to be used in the attack.
Lutchman told them he was planning to conduct an attack either with pressure cooker bombs – of the sort lethally used in the 2014 Boston marathon bombing attack – or else to use machetes to hack up victims.
"That's what my plan, that's on my mind, that's all I been thinking about," he said. "'Cause I'm getting amped up, to accept the fact that's what I gotta do."
He told one informant on Monday that he wanted to plant a bomb into a club or bar, kidnap several people and murder them.
"I will take a life. I don't have a problem with that," he said.
While arresting Lutchman on Wednesday, the FBI seized the video in which he swore allegiance to al-Baghdadi and claimed responsibility for the attack he intended to launch.
"The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman's intent to kill civilians on New Year's Eve," said Special Agent in Charge Adam Cohen of the bureau's Buffalo division. "The FBI remains concerned about people overseas who use the Internet to inspire people in the United States to commit acts of violence where they live."