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Rochester NY man linked to ISIS planned New Year's Eve attack on bar,

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Rochester man linked to ISIS planned New Year's Eve attack on bar,

1:21 p.m. EST December 31, 2015


Emanuel L. Lutchman

(Photo: Provided)

A Rochester man accused of being an ISIS sympathizer planned to kill patrons at a Rochester restaurant/bar on New Year's Eve, federal authorities allege.

Emanuel L. Lutchman, 25, is charged with providing material support to the Islamic State, the terrorist organization also known as ISIS or ISIL.

A Muslim convert, Lutchman allegedly wanted to kill the patrons of a bar on New Year's Eve.

"The FBI thwarted Emanuel Lutchman’s intent to kill civilians on New Year's Eve,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Adam Cohen.

Lutchman wanted to prove that he was worthy of ISIS participation, and, with an FBI informant, bought a machete, ski masks, zipties, knives and duct tape at a Walmart on Hudson Avenue, according to an affidavit from FBI Special Agent Timothy Klapec.

“According to the (criminal complaint) as part of Emanuel Lutchman’s attempt to provide material support to ISIL, he planned to kill innocent civilians on New Year’s Eve in the name of the terrorist organization,” said U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin. “Thankfully, law enforcement was able to intervene and thwart Lutchman's deadly plans.”

U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. said, “This New Year’s Eve prosecution underscores the threat of ISIL even in upstate New York but demonstrates our determination to immediately stop any who would cause harm in its name."

In late December, authorities began monitoring Lutchman and connecting him with three informants that Lutchman was led to believe would help him carry out a New Year’s Eve attack in Rochester.

Lutchman has past arrests, including mental health arrests. As well as his robbery conviction in 2006, he served several months in local jail this year for petit larceny and menacing.

He also has a pending domestic violence case involving the same woman whom he admitted to criminally menacing, records show.

Authorities allege that:

Lutchman told one informant that he was communicating with a "brother" of ISIS in Syria. The supposed ISIS contact told Lutchman that he would "have to prove himself and prove that he was one of them," authorities allege.

Lutchman, who served prison time for a robbery, at first was hesitant, saying he did not want to go back to prison. The contact told Lutchman that he should carry out an "operation" on New Year's Eve.

On the morning of Dec. 28, Lutchman met with another informant and said he intended to carry out an "act" so he could "get to hijra," which authorities say was his term for a journey to ISIS. That night he said he wanted to target a bar or club — it is not identified in court papers — with a bomb. They chose a particular "restaurant/bar" in Rochester, and on Dec. 29 bought the machete, knives and other goods at the Walmart for the assault.

"The operation is a go," Lutchman allegedly said. "We just gotta do it man. We got the knives, we got the gloves, we got the ammonia, so whatever the case may be."

On Wednesday the Rochester Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes the FBI and other police, arrested Lutchman in a car with an informant. Before that, he allegedly made a video on a mobile telephone pledging allegiance to ISIS and claiming responsibility for the planned attack.

Lutchman, who is now detained, appeared in federal court Thursday morning. Federal court was scheduled to be closed and the media was not notified in advance of his appearance.

He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 8.

It’s unknown whether the Rochester Police Department had any role in the investigation.

A spokesman for the RPD deferred questions about the investigation to the FBI but said Chief Michael Ciminelli will meet with the media Thursday afternoon to address the arrest as it pertains to his department and the safety of the city.

It doesn’t not appear as if individual RPD officers had been notified of the plot or were told to be particularly vigilant, as numerous officers said they learned of the arrest from news sources.

This is the second ISIS-connected arrest in Rochester in the past 17 months. Mufid Elfgeeh, 32, was arrested last year and accused of recruiting for ISIS.


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Well, they didn't mention a specific religion here, but...


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