A 20-year old New Jersey man, Gregory Lepsky, recently appeared in federal court to face allegations that he planned to construct and detonate a pressure cooker-style explosive in support of the extremist group the Islamic State and Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Lepsky is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The Point Pleasant New Jersey Police Department arrested Lepsky on February 21 in connection to an unnamed incident that occurred in the family’s home that day. When he was arrested, police searched his room and found a new pressure cooker stored within his bedroom closet, which was wrapped in bubblewrap.
Lepsky’s internet history revealed that he planned to build and detonate a bomb in support of ISIS, stating that he would become a martyr if necessary by blowing himself up.
Officers also found a set of instructions that had been published online by another extremist group on how to build a pressure cooker bomb, which was accessed around the same time Lepsky obtained the pressure cooker.
If convicted, Lepsky’s charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assisting in the prosecution is Assistant U.S. Attorney James Donnelly of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark and trial attorneys Justin Sher and B. Celeste Corlett of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.