Idaho man arrested, charged with supporting terrorism

Documents show the charges filed against Mercurio and a photo of Mercurio next to an ISIS flag in black and white.
The criminal complaint against Alexander Scott Mercurio is photographed on Tuesday, April 9, 2024. Mercurio, 18, is charged with attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group after prosecutors said he planned to carry out an attack on a Coeur d'Alene church. (Credit: Jenny Kane / AP Photo)



Coeur d’Alene resident Alexander Scott Mercurio is accused of planning to attack churches in his hometown on Sunday, using firearms, knives and fire, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

The 18 year old was arrested Saturday. 

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated Mercurio. 

“As alleged in the complaint, the defendant swore an oath of loyalty to ISIS and planned to wage an attack in its name on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in a press release. “Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, the defendant was taken into custody before he could act, and he is now charged with attempting to support ISIS’s mission of terror and violence.”

Mercurio pledged his support to ISIS, according to the affidavit. He is in custody and facing federal charges for attempting to provide support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. 

The FBI is investigating the case with help from the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Ada County Sheriff’s Office and the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.