POINT PLEASANT, N.J. — A New Jersey man who allegedly planned to become a “martyr” for ISIS will appear in federal court Friday after the U.S. Department of Justice said police found the makings of a pressure cooker bomb inside his home, along with incriminating digital evidence detailing his intent to fight for the terrorist group.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, according to the DOJ.
Lepsky was first arrested on Feb. 21 in connection to an incident at his family’s Point Pleasant home, the DOJ said.
Officials did not describe the initial incident, but said law enforcement subsequently searched the home and found a new pressure cooker hidden behind a roll of bubble wrap in Lepsky’s bedroom closet.
He planned to build and detonate a pressure cooker bomb in support of ISIS, searches of computers and other digital evidence linked to Lepsky found, the DOJ said.
“Lepsky told others that he intended to fight on behalf of ISIS, and that he would, if necessary, become a martyr by driving a ‘bunch of explosives’ to where the ‘enemies’ could be found and blowing himself up,” the DOJ stated in a news release.
Additionally, Lepsky allegedly told an ISIS supporter that if he was unable to travel to Syria to fight for the group, he “could conduct a terrorist attack in his home country using improvised explosive devices.”
Step-by-step instructions published by another terrorist group on making pressure cooker bombs were also found at the home, according to the DOJ.
“The material support charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense,” the DOJ states.