Who Is Mustafa Mousab Alowemer? New Details On The Syrian Refugee Who Plotted To Bomb Christian Church

Photo: Getty
Who Is Mustafa Mousab Alowemer? New Details On The Syrian Refugee Who Plotted To Bomb Christian Church

In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that fed the division between the people in our country. According to this order, refugees from Syria would indefinitely be banned from coming to the country. Trump said it was a measure to prevent terrorism, and those who needed reassurance found it in this statement. But others were furious about the harm it would do to potential refugees. 

Recently, the FBI arrested a Syrian refugee named Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, an ISIS supporter who planned to do something terrible. Trump supporters are using Mustafa's arrest to prove their point. But the fact remains that the numbers just dont like: There's less than a 1% chance of any refugee killing anyone. Mustafa is an outlier, and a dangerous one. Here's what we know. Who is Mustafa Mousab Alowemer?

1. Mustafa Mousab Alowemer

On Wednesday June 19th, a Syrian refugee named Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, was arrested in Pittsburgh, PA. According to the FBI, the arrest came with very good reason. It seems that Mustafa was a supporter of ISIS and he had plans to bomb in a church in the Pittsburgh area. Luckily, the FBI was on the case and prevented potential disaster. Mustafa Mousab Alowemer was charged with a count of providing material support and additional resources to ISIS, and these weren't the only charges leveled against him. He was also charged with multiple counts of handing out information connected to the construction of explosives.  

RELATED: Who Is Shantha Mayadunne? New Details About The Celebrity Chef Who Died In The Bombing Attacks In Sri Lanka

2. The Target

According to Mustafa's arrest documents, he planned to set off a bomb at the Legacy International Worship Center in Pittsburgh. Why did he pick this particular targert? Mustafa believed that this church attracted largely Christian and Nigerian worshippers, a group he had specific interest in isolating.The FBI had suspected Mustafa was involved with ISIS for some time. In fact, they even deployed an undercover operative to work with Mustafa to help uncover his plans. "We, we, take revenge for our brothers in Nigeria," he was recorded as explaining to the undercover operative. 

3. Syrian Refugee 

Mustafa, originally from Syria, came to the United States in the late summer of 2016. He settled down in Pittsburgh and even went so far as to enroll in the local high school. In fact, he recently graduated with his diploma. He was taking hiding in plain site very seriously even though that included having to go to school five days a week and do his homework, too. In order to plan this attack, Mustafa couldn't act let alone organize alone. He believed that his partner in crime was just as eager as he was. Unfortunately, he had no clue that the person he put all his trust was actually an FBI agent. They met several times and communicated online, with Mustafa sending the agent instructions on how to make a bomb as well as ISIS pamphlets. 

RELATED: Why The New Zealand Terrorist Attack Is A Wake-Up Call For Parents Of Kids Who Use Social Media

4. His Plan

According to Mustafa after his arrest, he wasn't just trying to send a message. He was eager to take life in order to make a bigger impact on the news. To make sure that as many people died as possible he was planning to set off the bomb on a Sunday. This was all information collected after his arrest or shared previously with the FBI undercover agent. Mustafa's plans weren't all idle talk, either. According to authorities, he had already bought nail polish remover, batteries, ice packs, nails, and other supplies to help him craft the bomb. He also printed up maps of the church and marked down his entrance to the building as well as his escape route. 

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

5. Trump's Order 

Back in 2017 President Donald Trump signed an executive order that kept Syrian refugees from entering the US. According to Trump this was a move to keep potential terrorists (like Mustafa) out of the country. But there's something important you should know about Syrian Refugees and about Mustafa: he's an outlier, not the rule

In fact, the chances of a refugee killing anyone is ridiculously small and there's data to back this up. According to the Cato Institute, 25 out of 3,391,203 refugees admitted to the country between 1975 and 2017 were terrorists, equaling 0.00074 percent of the total, and those came from places like Cuba, not countries you typically think of as having terrorist issues. 

RELATED: Who Is Christopher Paul Hasson? New Details About Coast Guard Officer Accused Of Plotting Domestic Terrorism

Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime.