BANGOR — A Waterville man who previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to attack a mosque in the Chicago area was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison by a federal judge.

FBI investigators found two hand-painted Islamic State flags at the apartment of Xavier Pelkey, 19, of Waterville, after arresting him in February 2022 for his connection to a planned attack on a Chicago mosque. Court documents indicate Pelkey had homemade explosive devices that investigators say he planned to use in an attack on the Shia mosque. Pelkey, now 20, was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison. Taken from court documents

Xavier Pelkey, 20, was sentenced to federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release after pleading guilty in April to a charge of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Authorities say that Pelkey conspired with two minors in November 2021, one in Chicago and one in Canada, to attack a Shia mosque.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Maine said in a news release Monday that Pelkey was a supporter of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and planned to contribute guns, ammunition and explosives for the attack.

“The threat of a mass casualty shooting is all too real and fresh for the people of Maine today, as is the case for far too many communities across our nation,” the U.S. Attorney for Maine Darcie N. McElwee said in the release. “Mr. Pelkey bought into hate and rhetoric he found online, and it cost him his future.”

Pelkey was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

He was initially arrested by the FBI in 2022 after a search of his downtown Waterville apartment turned up several improvised explosive devices, a hand-painted ISIS flag, and written statements to be released prior to the shooting claiming the attack in the name of the terrorist group.

According to an FBI affidavit filed in court last year, the attackers intended to separate children from adults at the mosque and then kill the adults. If they weren’t apprehended at the mosque then their plan was to travel to another mosque or a Jewish synagogue to continue the attack, the affidavit said.

In August, Pelkey was charged with assault after injuring another inmate at the Somerset County Jail with a chair. He had been held there since his initial arrest, but booking logs indicated he had been moved after the assault.

A news release provided by the U.S. Department of Justice did not specify where Pelkey is currently being held.

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