USA v. Alowemer, Mustafa
Pittsburg, PA

Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)

[WDPA] A Syrian man was arrested for plotting attack on a church in Pittsburgh in the name of ISIS. Mustafa Alowemer, who was from Daraa, Syria, was admitted as a refugee to the United States in August 2016. He recorded a video of himself pledging oath to the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Alowemer pleaded guilty to planning to blow up Legacy International Worship Center September 2021 and was set to be sentenced in August 2022. The judge has postponed the August 2022 sentencing hearing. Alowemer's public defender said he intends to ask for leniency based in part on a psychological exam he said will show that Alowemer suffered "enormous torment and tragedy" in his home country before coming to the U.S. The U.S. attorney's office said it wanted time to review that report and consult its own experts to possibly refute it. In November 2022, Alowemer was sentenced to over 17 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for his involvement in a plot to bomb a Pittsburgh church.