Maine teen pleads guilty to charge in plot to attack Chicago mosque

Xavier Pelkey faces up to 15 years in prison.

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Xavier Pelkey, 19, of Maine, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge related a plot to attack a Chicago mosque.

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BANGOR, Maine — A 19-year-old accused of making homemade explosives and plotting to attack a mosque in the Chicago area pleaded guilty Friday to providing material support to terrorists.

Xavier Pelkey appeared in federal court to enter the plea under under an agreement in which prosecutors dropped a second charge. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced at a later date.

Pelkey, of Waterville, was 18 when he was arrested last year by FBI agents who found three homemade explosives in his home, along with a handwritten document that appeared to be a draft statement about the planned mosque attack. In the statement, Pelkey claimed allegiance to the Islamic State, an extremist Sunni militant group, and an IS flag was painted on the wall of his bedroom, investigators said.

He’d been communicating with two juveniles in Canada and in Illinois about conducting a mass shooting at a Shiite mosque in the Chicago area, law enforcement officials said.

All three believed in a radical form of Sunni Islam that viewed the Shiite branch of Islam as nonbelievers, officials said. Pelkey planned to contribute firearms, ammunition and explosives to be used in the attack, officials said.

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