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Adams terror case the latest in series with ties to Mass.

An Adams man’s alleged plot to carry out an Islamic State-inspired attack on a university using guns and improvised explosives was the latest in a series of terrorism cases with connections to Massachusetts that stretch back to Sept. 11, 2001.

Federal authorities announced Monday that they had arrested Alexander Ciccolo, 23, who they say is also known as Ali Al Amriki, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms.

Ciccolo allegedly received delivery of four guns on July 4 and was arrested immediately afterward. Authorities said Ciccolo had also purchased a pressure cooker and had partially constructed several Molotov cocktails before his arrest.


Officials allege Ciccolo had told a cooperating witness in a recorded conversation that he planned to commit terror attacks inspired by ISIS, “including setting off improvised explosive devices, such as pressure cookers filled with black powder, nails, ball bearings and glass, in places where large numbers of people congregate, like college cafeterias.”

Here are some of the other terrorism cases linked to Massachusetts in recent years:

Usaama Rahim

In early June, Rahim of Roslindale was killed by police during a thwarted terrorist attack, according to law enforcement officials.

Usaama Rahim had planned to attack “those boys in blue”and behead a police officer in Massachusetts, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent in federal court, which said Rahim has purchased several military knives. David Wright, an alleged co-conspirator, faces charges of conspiring to obstruct a national security investigation.

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

The Tsarnaev brothers planted and detonated two bombs near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 260 others.

Three days later, the brothers killed an MIT police officer, before hijacking a car and engaging in a shootout with law enforcement in Watertown. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in that shootout.


Law enforcement officers located Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in a boat stored in a Watertown back yard. He was convicted of 30 charges in connection with the bombing and its aftermath and, in a second phase of the trial, was sentenced to death.

Rezwan Ferdaus

Ferdaus was sentenced to 17 years in prison for planning to crash explosives-laden model airplanes into the Pentagon and US Capitol and manipulating cellphones to detonate improvised explosive devices to kill American troops. He also planned a ground attack on federal buildings, prosecutors said.

The Northeastern University graduate from Ashland was arrested in 2011 and charged in 2012. He originally faced 35 years in prison, but that was reduced under a plea agreement.

Aftab Ali, a.k.a. Aftab Khan

Khan was charged with unlicensed money transmitting and immigration document fraud following the Times Square bombing attempt in 2010. He plead guilty and was deported to Pakistan.

Khan, who lived in Watertown, provided bomber Faisal Shahzad $4,900, though the federal complaint against him did not charge that he was involved in the bombing plot or knew what Shahzad planned to do with the money.

Tarek Mehanna and Ahmad Abousamra

Mehanna and Abousamra were charged with providing and conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, among other charges, in 2009.

Mehanna, who spent much of his youth in Sudbury, is serving a 17½-year federal sentence.

Abousamra, who grew up in Stoughton, was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list in 2013. He may have been killed in a recent airstrike by Iraqi forces, according to multiple reports.


Aafia Siddiqui

Siddiqui, who obtained degrees at both Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University, was charged with the assault and attempted murder of American agents in Afghanistan while she was being held for questioning in 2008.

Prior to Siddiqui’s arrest, she was dubbed the “most wanted woman in the world” by US officials for her involvement with Al Qaeda.

Richard C. Reid

Reid pleaded guilty to trying to blow up a transatlantic flight with explosives concealed in his shoes in 2001. Known as the “shoe bomber,” Reid was sentenced to life in prison in 2003.

After two doctors aboard the flight overpowered and sedated Reid, the Paris-Miami flight was diverted to Boston’s Logan International Airport. None of the 197 passengers and crew members were seriously hurt.

9/11 attacks

Two of the four hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, left from Logan Airport. The two flights, which were diverted from routes to Los Angeles, crashed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

According to the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, 206 people from the state or with strong Massachusetts ties died that day.

Andy Rosen, Matt Rocheleau, Milton J. Valencia, and Martin Finucane of Globe Staff contributed to this report. Catherine Cloutier can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @cmcloutier.