The Adams, Massachusetts man suspected of planning an attack on a college campus in support of the Islamic State group was arraigned in Springfield’s U.S. District Court this morning. Alexander Ciccolo pleaded not guilty to weapons and assault charges.
The Department of Justice says the 23-year-old allegedly stabbed a correctional center nurse in the head with a pen after being arrested July 4th, leading to the latter charge.
Ciccolo’s attorney David Hoose says his client is confined to a cell at a Rhode Island detention facility 23 hours a day. Saying the government is looking into additional charges, Hoose said he is not prepared to comment on whether Ciccolo is connected to terrorism.
“I expect that the government will begin to turn discovery materials and allow me to learn a little bit more about exactly what they’re accusing Mr. Ciccolo of,” said Hoose.
Hoose says he hasn’t had conversations about a plea deal. A status conference is set for September 29th.
Authorities arrested Ciccolo, the son of a Boston Police captain, after he received weapons from a person working with law enforcement. Ciccolo is not allowed to possess firearms because of a prior felony drunk driving conviction. The Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force is leading the investigation.
Vincent Lisi is Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Division, which oversees the task force. Although he declined to discuss the ongoing case, Lisi spoke with WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis about what the task force does and the challenges it faces.