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New England News

Adams Man Pleads Not Guilty To Terrorism Charges

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Jane Flavell Collins
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A western Massachusetts man was formally arraigned Thursday on terrorism charges.

Alexander Ciccolo answered “ Not guilty” in a loud and clear voice to each of the four criminal charges read by a clerk in U.S. District Court in Springfield Thursday afternoon.

Ciccolo, who was arrested just over a year ago is being held without bail.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Katherine Robertson scheduled a status conference in the case for 2 p.m. on Nov. 29.

Ciccolo, 23, was charged in a new indictment last week with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and one count of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.

He was arrested on July 4, 2015 on charges of possessing weapons illegally and with assault for allegedly stabbing a nurse with a pen as he was being taken into jail.

Robertson designated the proceedings as a “complex case” which gives the prosecution more time to turn over evidence to the defense and the defense more time to review it without violating the defendant’s right to a speedy trial.

Outside the courthouse, defense attorney David Hoose said Ciccolo is “ doing fine” considering he’s been locked up for more than a year.

"Mr. Ciccolo, like anyone who is facing a serious charge the penalties are extreme, and I try to move them along as quickly as a I can," said Hoose.

In earlier court filings the prosecution alleged Ciccolo spoke to a cooperating witness about committing acts of terrorism inspired by ISIS including setting off explosives in a place with a lot of people, such a college cafeteria.

Investigators who searched Ciccolo’s apartment in Adams allegedly found several partially constructed incendiary devices.

During a court hearing last year, prosecutors showed a portion of the videotape of Ciccolo’s interview with an FBI agent after his arrest in which he said he supports the Islamic State and believes the United States to be an enemy of Islam.

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