Accused Massachusetts Terrorist Defends ISIS in Taped Interrogation

A destroyed building with a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants is seen in the town of al-Alam in Iraq on March 10. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

A 23-year-old Massachusetts man who has been charged with plotting a terrorist attack allegedly inspired by the Islamic State, the group better known as ISIS, on Tuesday was ordered held without bail.

A judge in Springfield, Massachusetts, ordered Alexander Ciccolo to stay behind bars until his trial. Ciccolo, of Adams, Massachusetts, was arrested on July 4 and appeared in federal court for the first time on Tuesday.

His own father, Boston Police Captain Robert Ciccolo, allegedly alerted the FBI about his estranged son's interest in ISIS, and he was then placed on surveillance. Police took the man into custody on gun charges after he bought two pistols and two rifles from an undercover FBI confidential informant on July 3.

During Ciccolo's hearing in court this week, prosecutors showed a video of his post-arrest interview with an FBI agent. When the official asked him if ISIS is good, he responded: "Yeah, yeah they are. They're doing a good thing."

He went on to say the Islamic militants implement the Shariah, a law of Islam, and free people from oppression. Parts of the interview were posted online by the Boston Globe.

"The moment that a group of people begins implementing something other than the Shariah, they're enemies," he added.

When the FBI agent asked him if everyone in the United States is an enemy, Ciccolo answered, "yes."

"People that you see being executed are criminals, they're criminals. They're the lowest of the low," Ciccolo said about the victims executed by ISIS.

Ciccolo allegedly initially planned to travel to another state and attack bars and a police station with a pressure-cooker bomb. But he later reportedly changed his plan to attack an unidentified college cafeteria in the country using the bomb, Molotov cocktails and guns.

His parents' divorce records reveal that Ciccolo demonstrated increasingly violent behavior at school, according to the Globe. He was suspended five times for aggressive and violent behavior, and arrested for threatening to kill another student. The local newspaper also reported that Ciccolo was hospitalized at least once for psychiatric treatment.

Ciccolo's attorney wanted him released on bail to stay with his mother in a remote section of western Massachusetts. 

Ciccolo is being held at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The date has not been set for the trial.