A Waterville man who built homemade explosive devices as part of a plot to carry out a terrorist attack was sentenced this week.

Who Was Sentenced?

Xavier Pelkey was just 18 years old when he was arrested in February 2022 after the FBI executed a search warrant at his Waterville apartment and found three handmade explosive devices. Other incriminating evidence at his home included a hand-painted version of the flag used by the foreign terrorist organization known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, which was on the wall of his bedroom. Officials also found written statements intended to be released just prior to a planned attack, claiming it was done in the name of ISIS.

What Was the Plot?

The United States Attorney's Office District of Maine states that Pelkey began conspiring with two minors, beginning in November 2021, to conduct a mass shooting at a Shia mosque in the Chicago area. The other two people involved in the plot were from Chicago and Canada. Court documents state that Pelkey planned to contribute firearms, ammunition, and explosives that were to be used in the mass casualty attack.

How Can People Report Suspicions of Similar Activity?

U.S. Attorney, District of Maine, Darcie N. McElwee says the sentencing came at a time when the threat of a mass casualty event is all too real and fresh for Maine residents.

Mr. Pelkey brought into hate and rhetoric he found online, and it cost him his future. I commend the quick work of the FBI to stop this conspiracy before it was able to cause any death, fear, or destruction.

Judi Cohen, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division says it's gratifying that the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force solved this case before it went too far. Suspicion of similar crimes can be reported to the FBI through an online portal. 

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