A man was arrested for considering an attack in the US to avenge the New Zealand mosque shooting

  • A 21-year-old Albanian man was arrested in Montana after claiming he wanted to attack random people to “avenge the blood” of those killed in last month’s New Zealand mosque shooting.
  • Fabjan Alameti appeared before a US magistrate judge on Thursday for making false statements about terrorism, and for charges of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
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An Albanian man was arrested in Montana on Thursday after claiming he wanted to attack random people to “avenge the blood” of those killed in last month’s New Zealand mosque shooting.

21-year-old Fabjan Alameti also talked about joining ISIS and has made remarks about plotting attacks against a military facility, recruitment center, government building, “gay club” or Jewish temple, FBI Special Agent Matthew Duermeir said in sworn court statements reviewed by the Associated Press.

Alameti appeared before a US magistrate judge on Thursday for making false statements about terrorism, and for charges of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

He recently moved from New York City to Montana, where he had a job interview and believed it would be easier to purchase a gun, Duermeir said. He was traveling by bus when the news broke that a gunman had killed 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand. He asked a federal informant to send him a link to the video of the attack, and told the informant he wanted to attack random people in response to the bloodshed.

Read more: Suspect in New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting to be charged with 50 counts of murder

This wasn’t Alameti’s first time touting violent rhetoric: he was first interviewed by authorities in 2018, the Associated Press noted, and made pro-ISIS comments on social media. In January, he told the federal informant about fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but later said he would not carry out an attack since he was granted citizenship in the United States, Duermeir said in his statement.

He also told a Bozeman police officer that he had no desire to join ISIS or harm Americans.

But, since arriving in Montana, Alameti has purchased an air rifle, been kicked out of a hotel for smoking marijuana, spent time in the hospital for apparent acute alcohol intoxication, and was recorded by the federal informant saying, while purchasing marijuana, that he wanted to “shoot up” the hotel and shoot a rifle at a firing range.

On Wednesday, Alameti paid $35 to rent a rifle at the firing range and was immediately arrested upon taking possession of the weapon.