WASHINGTON (WHTM) — A man from Pennsylvania has been sentenced to 208 months, or more than 17 years, in federal prison for attempting to provide material to support the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

According to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice, 24-year-old Mustafa Mousab Alowemer pleaded guilty in September 2021 to one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS in connection with his plan to attack a church in Pittsburgh.

Court documents say that Alowemer plotted to bomb a church located on the north since of the city using an explosive device, according to the DOJ. Alowemer stated his motivation to conduct such an attack was to support the cause of ISIS and to inspire other ISIS supporters in America to commit similar acts, the DOJ reported.

According to the DOJ, court documents also say that in May 2019, Alowemer distributed multiple instructional documents related to the construction and use of explosives and improvised explosive devices (IED) to an individual Alowemer believed to be a fellow ISIS supporter, but who was actually an FBI employee. 

“The defendant’s plan to bomb a Pittsburgh church and risk death or injury to residents in the area in the name of ISIS was thwarted by the extraordinary work of the Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said U.S. Attorney Cindy K. Chung for the Western District of Pennsylvania. “Our office will continue to hold accountable individuals who threaten the safety of our communities.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song for the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorneys Brenda Sue Thornton and S. Elisa Poteat of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.