NEWARK, N.J. — A New Jersey man who was arrested in February after attempting to kill the family dog is now facing a terror charge as authorities believe he also conspired to create and detonate a pressure cooker bomb in New York City on behalf of the barbaric Islamic group ISIS.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
He was taken into custody on Feb. 21 after police received a call from a family member that Lepsky had a weapon and was threatening to kill the dog. When police arrived at the home, they found the dog with a large stab wound and Lepsky bleeding from one arm.
“Lepsky stated that he was going to kill his mother and that he had pledged his allegiance to Allah,” the official criminal complaint reads. “Lepsky further stated that he had stabbed the dog because in Lepsky’s view of Islam, the dog was ‘dirty.'”
He also advised that he had joined ISIS and was planning on traveling to Turkey.
Police searched the residence and found a brand new pressure cooker in Lepsky’s closet, as well as a book entitled “Martyrdom in Jihad Versus Suicide Bombing.”
While hospitalized, and in the presence of law enforcement officers, Lepsky allegedly acknowledged that he planned on creating a bomb with the pressure cooker and was going to “place it in a busy area in New York City in order to kill as many people as possible.” He repeated the information the following day, and explained in detail his plot to create a bomb and cause bloodshed.
“Lepsky explained that he would be rewarded in the afterlife for this act,” the complaint outlines. “Lepsky expressed regret for having tried to kill the family dog because, according to him, if he had not done so, the police would not have discovered his plan.”
Police investigated Lepsky’s online activity as well as his mobile phone, and found that he had researched how to make a pressure cooker bomb. They also discovered that he had forwarded a text message to another family member that said that if one cannot to travel overseas to join ISIS, they can be provided with a tutorial on how to make explosives to carry out an attack locally.
Lepsky faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, as well as a $250,000 fine.
“The department continues to be concerned with those who are reading and absorbing propaganda from terrorist organizations like ISIL, which provide detailed instructions on how to carry out many different types of attacks,” the New York Police Department said in a statement. “We are ever vigilant, but we need the public’s help in ensuring our collective security. If you see something, say something.”