NEW YORK — A New Jersey man is accused of planning to build a pressure cooker bomb and attack Manhattan, authorities said Friday.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, of Point Pleasant, appeared in federal court in Newark and was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the complaint prepared by the US Justice Department, Lepsky was arrested February 21 after a family member called Point Pleasant police and told them Lepsky had a weapon and was going to kill the family dog.
Officers took Lepsky into custody after he ran from the residence bleeding from one of his arms, the complaint said.
Officers found the dog under a bed alive but with a large slash wound to its back. Officers found an empty stainless steel pressure cooker in the house, along with the knife used to stab the dog and several books including “Martyrdom in Jihad versus Suicide Bombing.”
While being taken to a hospital, Lepsky told medical personnel that he was working for ISIS and was “going to take the pressure cooker, use it to make a bomb, and place it in a busy area in New York City in order to kill as many people as possible,” the complaint said.
He told officers he was going to kill his mother and had plane tickets to Turkey, the complaint said.
Days before his arrest, Lepsky used the name Greg Abnghari to post on Facebook that Islam was his “birth religion” and he wanted to die a martyr, authorities said. He’d sent text messages to a family member that included instructions for a pressure-cooker bomb and searched the Internet for information about ISIS propaganda, terrorist attacks and beheadings.
Lepsky remains in custody and is being represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Lisa Mack. Mack has not returned phone calls seeking comment.