A Jersey Shore man allegedly planned to construct and use a pressure cooker bomb in support of a designated foreign terrorist organization, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick and Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana Boente announced.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, of Point Pleasant is facing one count of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group, prosecutors said in a news release.
Authorities say Lepsky is expected to appear in federal court in Newark this afternoon.
He was arrested by the Point Pleasant Police Department on Feb. 21 in connection with an incident that occurred in his family’s home, the release says.
Police then searched the house and found a new pressure cooker stored behind a roll of bubble wrap in Lepsky’s bedroom closet, according to the release.
Prosecutors say a digital search led to evidence of Lepsky’s plan to build and detonate a bomb in support of ISIS, adding that he told others on social media 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.”
Authorities also found instructions on how to build a pressure cooker bomb that coincided with the delivery of the pressure cooker, according to the release.
Investigators also discovered a message forwarded by Lepsky from another ISIS supporter advising that a westerner could conduct a terrorist attack in his own country if he couldn’t travel to Syria to fight for ISIS, the release said.
The material support charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The investigation involved the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Point Pleasant Police Department.