The son of a Boston police captain has been arrested in an FBI sting and accused of plotting to commit terrorist acts in support of Islamic State, including the setting off of pressure-cooker bombs at an unidentified university.
Alexander Ciccolo’s own father alerted authorities last fall that the younger man had a long history of mental illness and was talking about joining Islamic State, according to two law-enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details.
Ciccolo, 23, was accused in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday with illegal possession of a firearm for receiving four guns July 4 from a person cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force. Because of a drunken driving conviction, Ciccolo was barred from possessing a gun.
Ciccolo’s father, Robert Ciccolo, is a 27-year veteran of the Boston police.
“While we were saddened and disappointed to learn of our son’s intentions, we are grateful that authorities were able to prevent any loss of life or harm to others,” Ciccolo’s parents said in a statement.
On July 3, the day before his arrest, agents watched Ciccolo at Wal-Mart buying a pressure cooker similar to those used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, the FBI said.