Waterville teen agrees to plead guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists

Xavier Pelkey acted in the name of ISIS, caught with explosive devices
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:29 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WMTW) - A Waterville teenager has signed a plea agreement admitting he conspired to provide material support to terrorists.

That document was filed on Wednesday in Bangor Federal Court.

Xavier Pelkey, 19, who lived in an apartment in Waterville until his arrest last February 2022, stands accused of plotting to attack a mosque in Chicago in the name of ISIS.

Prosecutors say FBI agents found three home-made explosive devices in his bedroom and an hand-painted ISIS flag hanging on his wall.

Pelkey’s plea hearing is scheduled for next Friday, April 7, before U.S. District Judge Lance Walker.

He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for material support.

With the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a second criminal charge, possession of unregistered destructive devices.

Pelkey signed the plead agreement on March 7, and it was co-signed by his defense attorney Christopher MacLean and Assistant United States Attorney Craig Wolff.

Wolff wrote in a separate memorandum filed with the court that at a trial, the government would prove through witness testimony and evidence that Pelkey conspired with two other teens, one in Illinois and the other in Canada, to carry out a mass shooting at a Shia mosque in March 2022.

Wolff asserted Pelkey and the two other teens were followers of the Sunni Muslim terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

Between November 2021 and February 2022, Wolff wrote, the trio chatted through encrypted messages over Instagram, with Pelkey using the name “Abdullah,” a shortened version of his Instagram username, Abdullah.ibn.ahmad.

The explosive devices, found in a backpack, consisted of fireworks and metal pieces bundled with tape.

In a handwritten note prosecutors describe as draft statement to be released upon the attack found, Wolff wrote, Pelkey pledged allegiance to ISIS and stated he intended to “burst thru the door of Jihad in america and strike fear in the hearts of these kafirun nothing pisses these american kuffar off and scares em more than a term they use ‘homegrown terrorist’ and I will claim this term let them cast me as a homegrown terrorist.”

“Kafirun” and “kuffar” are variations on the Arabic terms for non-believers

Wolff also wrote Pelkey had searched the internet for gun shops in Maine where he could buy semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and handguns.