No state is safe.
BOZEMAN, Mont. — An Albanian national who talked about joining ISIS and attacking random people to avenge a shooting at a New Zealand mosque was arrested at a gun range in Montana, authorities said Thursday.
Fabjan Alameti, 21, appeared before a U.S magistrate judge Thursday on charges of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance and making false statements involving international and domestic terrorism.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch ordered him detained for further proceedings.
Alameti’s federal public defender, John Rhodes, did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday.
The FBI had been tracking Alameti since he made pro-ISIS comments on Facebook in 2018, FBI Special Agent Matthew Duermeier said in a sworn statement filed with the court.
Starting in January of this year, Alameti spoke with a federal informant about fighting with the terrorist organization in Iraq and plotting an attack in the U.S. against a military facility, recruitment center, government building, “gay club” or Jewish temple, Duermeier said.
But Alameti also later said he would not carry out an attack on U.S. soil because the country had granted him citizenship, the FBI agent’s statement said.
Alameti told the informant he moved from his home in the Bronx to Bozeman last month because he hated his life in New York City, he was having family issues and he had a job interview in Montana, where it was easier to buy a gun, Duermeier said.
Alameti was traveling to Montana by bus on March 15 when a gunman opened fire in a Christchurch mosque and killed 50 people.
He asked the federal informant to send him a link to the video of the shooting because it would fuel him. “I will attack random people to avenge the blood,” Alameti told the informant, according to Duermeier.
Once in Bozeman, Alameti looked at guns in pawn shops and Wal-Mart, and he bought an air rifle. He was kicked out of a hotel for smoking marijuana and hospitalized on March 25 for apparent acute alcohol intoxication, Duermeier said.
After he was released, he went to the Bozeman police department to pick up his belongings, where was interviewed by an officer. In that interview, Alameti denied being linked to anyone who asked him to travel overseas, said he never expressed a desire to harm Americans, never expressed a desire to fight the U.S. military overseas and never expressed a desire to fight for ISIS, Duermeier said.
On Tuesday, another federal informant recorded Alameti saying while buying marijuana that he could die the following day and said he wanted to “shoot up” the hotel that he had been kicked out of. He said he wanted to go to a gun range the following day and shoot a rifle that he had seen in a pawn shop, the FBI agent’s statement said.
On Wednesday, Alameti showed up at the firing range, paid $35 to rent an M1A rifle and was arrested when he took possession of it, Deurmeier said.
The federal charge on which he was arrested says it’s illegal to possess a weapon while using drugs, and the false statement charge apparently is related to the answers he gave Bozeman police during his interview.
DOJ press release: Man charged with making false statements involving international terrorism
MISSOULA—A man who was arrested at a Bozeman shooting range on Wednesday after having recently traveled to Montana from New York appeared in court today on false statement and firearm charges. U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme for the District of Montana and Special Agent in Charge Paul Haertel of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office made the announcement.
Fabjan Alameti, 21, had an initial appearance on a criminal complaint before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch. The complaint charges Alameti with possession of a firearm by unlawful user of a controlled substance and with making false statements involving international terrorism.
Court documents filed in the case said law enforcement officers arrested Alameti without incident at a Bozeman shooting range. Alameti was taken into custody after he allegedly took possession of an M1A firearm he had rented.
“Fabjan Alameti recently moved to Bozeman from another state,” said Paul Haertel, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. “We want to make it absolutely clear that Mr. Alameti has no known ties to Montana or any affiliation with the Muslim community in Bozeman,” he said.
It’s much easier and economical to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. than having to tack them, eventually arrest them, prosecute them and jail them for years at a time. Full ban. There are 50+ Muslim-conquered nations that are much better suited to the needs and desires of Muslims.