A New Jersey teenager pleaded guilty Monday to a plan to kill the pope — a plot that was allegedly inspired by ISIS.
The U.S. Justice Department said Santos Colon, who was 15 at the time of the plot — which was to be carried out in 2015, during the pope’s visit to the United States — tried to recruit a sniper to do the deed. Colon also allegedly planned to detonate explosives.
“But the teen unwittingly recruited an undercover FBI agent for the job, and was arrested quietly 12 days before the event.
“‘Colon engaged someone he believed would be the sniper, but in reality was an undercover FBI employee. Colon engaged in target reconnaissance with an FBI confidential source and instructed the source to purchase materials to make explosive devices,’ the Justice Department said in a statement.
“Court documents said Colon sought to carry out the act in support of the Islamic State group and that he had used the adopted name Ahmad Shakoor.
“In a plea bargain with prosecutors, Colon, now 17, agreed to forego trial and plead guilty as an adult to one charge of providing material support to a terror group.
“With the deal, prosecutors dropped three other charges filed against him as a juvenile.”
Court documents indicate the charges that were dropped were tied to ISIS — that were tied to his alleged draw of inspiration from the group to carry out the killing.
Colon could face a maximum 15 years in prison. But his sentence is probably going to be stalled while he undergoes psychiatric care in a secure treatment factility. Colon said, during court testimony, he has been an in-patient at a mental facility in the past.
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