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Police captain’s son charged with plotting ISIS-inspired attack

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Alexander Ciccolo in 2014.
Alexander Ciccolo in 2014.AP

An Adams man who allegedly plotted terror attacks at a university and elsewhere was indicted on new charges Thursday, including one count of trying to provide material support to the Islamic State, court filings show.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, was initially charged last summer in federal court in Springfield with unlawfully possessing guns in connection with a plot to carry out an attack at an unnamed state university. He was also charged with stabbing a nurse with a pen after his arrest.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted him on additional charges of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State terrorist group, as well as the attempted use of weapons of mass destruction. The targeted university, which was not named, is located outside Massachusetts, the indictment said.

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Ciccolo is the son of Boston police Captain Robert Ciccolo, who set the FBI investigation in motion in the fall of 2014 when he told agents that his son has a history of mental illness and had expressed a desire to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq or Syria, according to legal filings and officials.

In addition, Ciccolo maintained a Facebook profile under the name Ali Al Amriki and told a witness working with the FBI that he planned to attack two bars and a police station in another state with pressure cooker bombs or portable microwave bombs, according to prior legal filings.

He said during a second meeting that he wanted to target a state university, and that he would need firearms and pressure cooker bombs, records show. Last July 4, the witness supplied Ciccolo with four firearms, and he was arrested soon after, according to court records. He was barred from possessing guns after a prior drunken driving conviction.

Investigators later searched his apartment and discovered "several partially constructed 'Molotov cocktails,' " US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz's office said in a statement. "These incendiary devices contained what appeared to be shredded Styrofoam soaking in motor oil. It is alleged that Ciccolo had previously stated that this mixture would cause the fire from the exploded devices to stick to people's skin and make it harder to put the fire out."

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Ciccolo has been in custody since his arrest and is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on July 7.

During a prior court hearing, prosecutors showed a video of Ciccolo's post-arrest interview with an FBI agent, in which he said that he supports the Islamic State and called the United States an enemy of Islam for failing to follow Sharia law.


Milton J. Valencia of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.