An ex-convict who converted to Islam shopped at Walmart for terror supplies two days before he planned to attack a Rochester, New York, bar with knives and a machete during a New Year's Eve celebration, according to court documents made public Thursday.
How Emanuel Lutchman, a 25-year-old U.S. citizen, allegedly planned his alleged ISIS-inspired plot were detailed in a sworn affidavits given by an FBI special agent.
Lutchman shopped at a Rochester Walmart on December 29, 2015, for supplies needed for the plot, the affidavit said. When he didn't have the money at the checkout counter, a FBI "confidential source" paid for two ski masks, two knives, a machete, duct tape, zip ties, ammonia and latex gloves. While the affidavit said it totaled $40, a check of prices by Lead Stories indicated the cost would be about $70, tax not included.
Lutchman plotted the attack after a ISIS recruiter told him in an online chat that "he would have to prove himself" and he must confirm "that he was one of them" before making a trip to Syria to join the terror group's army, a FBI special agent said in a sworn affidavit.
The ISIS "brother" told Lutchman to "plan an 'operation' on New Year's or whenever he can, and kill '1000000s of kuffar,'" the agent said. Kuffar is an arabic word for non-believers or infidels, he said. "For now do was u can over there," the ISIS recruiter allegedly told Lutchman.
Lutchman was arrested and charged with "attempting to provide material support" to the ISIS terror group, federal investigators said Thursday.
"He is a self-professed Muslim convert with a criminal history," the affidavit said. Lutchman served five years in a New York state prison for a 2006 robbery conviction .
Lutchman told an informant on a recorded conversation that "he hates this land and that he wants to live under the caliphate," the sworn statement said. ""I'm ready to lose my family" He wanted the Rochester attack to be "quiet and simple," so he could be "in and out" and on his way to Syria to join ISIS, the affidavit said.
The plot allegedly involved sneaking a pressure cooker bomb -- like the ones used to attack the Boston Marathon -- into a bar hosting a New Year's Eve celebration. However, a pressure cooker was not on the Walmart shopping list.
"it's going to get real after this," Lutchman said in a recorded conversation with an informant. "It's just you and me and the Lord. We gotta do this, we gotta do this precise."
Along with the bombing, he suggested "they kidnap a couple of people and kill them," the agent quoted him as saying. "If we grab somebody, they can't live. They may identify the vehicle. They can't live." The zip ties bought at Walmart would be used to handcuff the hostages.
Lutchman recored a video on his cell phone swearing allegiance to ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on December 30, the agent said.
The FBI paid one of its "confidential sources" nearly $20,000 to communicate and to meet with Lutchman during the investigation, the affidavit said.
Lutchman made his first court appearance Thursday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson of the U.S. Western District of New York.
"What began as an ISIL directive to harm the community ended with the arrest of this defendant and a message for any other individuals considering similar behavior - you will be caught, you will be prosecuted, and you will be punished," said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. "While law enforcement is well equipped for such investigations, the public is reminded to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity. I assure members of the public that the excellent work of our law enforcement partners with the cooperation of the public is the best way to ensure the safety of our community."
Lead Stories found a YouTube account created a year ago and registered in the name of Emanuel Lutchman that favorited a long list of anti-American, pro-Islamic videos.