• Michelle Dawn Mooney

Ocean County man sentenced for planning ISIS bombing

An Ocean County man who admitted to planning a bombing for ISIS was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Gregory Lepsky, now 22, was arrested Feb. 21, 2017, after threatening to kill the family dog. When officers arrived at his Point Pleasant home, they found the dog under a bed alive but with a large slash wound to its back. Lepsky also allegedly told officers he was going to kill his mother. A search of the home revealed a new pressure cooker stored behind a role of bubble wrap in Lepsky’s bedroom closet. Computers and other digital evidence led to Lepsky’s plan to build and detonate a bomb. He planned to fight on behalf of ISIS and, in social media communications, told others he would become a martyr, if necessary, by driving a “bunch of explosives” to where the “enemies” could be found and blowing himself up. Law enforcement officers also located a series of instructions that had been published online by another terrorist group that gave specific, step-by-step instructions on how to build a pressure cooker bomb, which coincided with the delivery of the pressure cooker to Lepsky a short time before his arrest. In addition, law enforcement officers recovered a message forwarded by Lepsky from another ISIS supporter stating that if a westerner could not travel to Syria to fight for ISIS, he could conduct a terrorist attack in his home country using improvised explosive devices. He previously admitted that in January 2017, he began formulating a plan to detonate the pressure cooker bomb in New York City. Lepsky also admitted he used to internet to get ISIS directives, the bomb-making instructions and to buy the pressure cooker and other items. After serving his sentence, Lepsky will be under supervision for life.

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