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Boston police captain’s son indicted for bombing plot inspired by Islamic State

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The son of a Boston police captain was indicted on fresh charges in connection with an alleged plot, inspired by Islamic State, to detonate bombs filled with nails and ball bearings in crowded public places, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

Alexander Ciccolo, 23, of Adams, Massachusetts, was charged with attempting to use weapons of mass destruction in the planned attack, the Office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts said in a statement.

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He also faces a single count of attempting to provide material support to a “foreign terrorist organization.” Authorities said the suspect was inspired by Islamic State, a militant group accused by Turkey of carrying out a suicide attack at Istanbul’s main airport that killed 42 people this week.

Ciccolo, as known as Ali Al Amriki, was arrested in July 2015 after he received four firearms, including a Colt AR-15 rifle, from a witness who was cooperating with the Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The suspect was recorded saying he planned to set off pressure cookers filled with gun powder, nails and ball bearings in college cafeterias and other places where people congregate, prosecutors said.

Before his arrest, police observed Ciccolo buying a pressure cooker similar to those used in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three and injuring 264 people. FBI agents had put Ciccolo under surveillance after being alerted to some of his posts on social media.

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Law enforcement authorities also found partially constructed Molotov cocktails when searching Ciccolo’s apartment. The devices contained a mixture of Styrofoam and motor oil designed to stick to the skin of victims after exploding, they said.

The suspect was initially charged with illegal possession of a firearm and assaulting a nurse at a county jail.

Ciccolo has received mental health treatment since childhood, sources familiar with the family told Reuters last year. His father had alerted authorities to his concerns about his son’s activities, the sources said.

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If convicted in the charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, Ciccolo faces a sentence of life in prison and a fine of $250,000.

It was not known whether Ciccolo had an attorney, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office could not be reached for comment.

(Reporting By Frank McGurty in New York; Additional reporting by Tim McLaughlin in Boston; Editing by Alan Crosby)

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump has been ‘insulated’ by his wealth to never have to learn from his mistakes: biographer

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President Donald Trump's inherited wealth has meant he's never had to learn from his mistakes, Trump biographer Tim O'Brien told MSNBC's Brian Williams on Thursday.

"Bloomberg Opinion writer and our next guest Tim O’Brien writes today, 'Yes, of course, you need a certain kind of appalling narcissism to be comfy promoting yourself as heaven-sent in a televised press briefing and as a deity on Twitter. It’s doubly unhinged when you’re doing this as president,'" Williams said. "He goes on 'The Trump of the past few weeks is the same disordered figure of the past several decades with, I suspect, a big dollop of something new blended in: unbridled and unmanageable panic.'"

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‘Both Putin and Xi will be voting Trump in 2020’: NYT columnist says Russia and China want ‘turmoil and chaos’

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The Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China are both rooting for President Donald Trump to win re-election in 2020, a New York Times columnist argued on MSNBC on Thursday.

Thomas Friedman was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on "The Last Word."

"What do we know about how the leaders of other countries see Donald Trump at this stage in their dealings with him?" O'Donnell asked. "Especially this weekend, when it comes at the end of a week in which they’ve heard him call himself the King of Israel, they have heard him say he is The Chosen One. They have heard all the crazy things that everyone here has heard the president say."

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Trump is ‘not a stable genius’: GOP strategist says the president ‘doesn’t remember who and where he is’

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President Donald Trump's mental fitness is lacking, a top Republican strategist explained on "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Rick Wilson, the author of the 2018 bestselling book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever, blasted the commander-in-chief.

"Rick Wilson, your assessment of where the president stands as he heads off to the G7 summit?" O'Donnell asked.

"I think Donald Trump has had a week in which he is proving that this isn’t 87-dimensional chess game, this isn't some masterful strategy of communications or persuasion," Wilson replied. "This is an old man who is sick and who has problems and who has mental disconnects and who has aphasias and who has moments where he doesn’t remember who and where he is."

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