On Wednesday, an Albanian national who spoke about joining ISIS and then attacking random citizens to avenge the shooting which occurred at a New Zealand mosque in March, was arrested at a gun range in Montana, the Independent Record reported.
Fabjan Alameti, 21, appeared before a U.S magistrate judge Thursday on charges of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance and making false statements involving international and domestic terrorism.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch ordered him detained for further proceedings.
Authorities first interviewed Alameti in 2018, and he later made pro-ISIS comments on Facebook, FBI Special Agent Matthew Duermeier said in a sworn statement filed with the court.
Starting in January of this year, Alameti spoke with a federal informant about fighting with the terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria and plotting an attack in the U.S. against a military facility, recruitment center, government building, “gay club” or Jewish temple, Duermeier said.
But Alameti also later said he would not carry out an attack on U.S. soil because the country had granted him citizenship, the FBI agent’s statement said.
Alameti told the informant he moved from his home in the Bronx to Bozeman last month because he hated his life in New York City, he was having family issues and he had a job interview in Montana, where it was easier to buy a gun, Duermeier said.
Alameti was traveling to Montana by bus on March 15 when a gunman opened fire in a Christchurch mosque and killed 50 people.
He asked the federal informant to send him a link to the video of the shooting because it would fuel him. “I will attack random people to avenge the blood,” Alameti told the informant, according to Duermeier.
The United States Department of Justice District of Montana further stated that the man who was arrested at a Bozeman shooting range on Wednesday after having recently traveled to Montana from New York appeared in court today on false statement and firearm charges.
U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme for the District of Montana and Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office made the announcement.
Fabjan Alameti, 21, had an initial appearance on a criminal complaint before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch. The complaint charges Alameti with possession of a firearm by unlawful user of a controlled substance and with making false statements involving international terrorism.
Court documents filed in the case said law enforcement officers arrested Alameti without incident at a Bozeman shooting range. Alameti was taken into custody after he allegedly took possession of an M1A firearm he had rented.
“Fabjan Alameti recently moved to Bozeman from another state,” said Paul Haertel, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. “We want to make it absolutely clear that Mr. Alameti has no known ties to Montana or any affiliation with the Muslim community in Bozeman,” he said.
The complaint is merely an accusation and Alameti is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted of the most serious crime, Alameti faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
Judge Lynch ordered Alameti to be detained and Alameti reserved his right to request a detention hearing at later date.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Starnes and Trial Attorney Rebecca Magnone, from National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section, are prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.
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