A Point Pleasant man who was accused by the FBI of providing material support for ISIS was caught after police were called on a report that he had stabbed his mother’s dog and threatened to kill her.
According to the Point Pleasant Police Department, officers arrived at the residence for a report of a male subject threatening to kill the family dog.
Responding Point Pleasant Police officers set up a perimeter around the residence and attempted to make contact with the male resident.
“During our attempt to negotiate, 20 year old Gregory Lepsky emerged from the residence and was taken into custody,” police said.
According to a report in the Asbury Park Press, Lepsky told first responders he wanted to kill the dog, because under his view of Islam, the pet was dirty.
He also stabbed himself. Lepsky was transported to Brick Hospital to be treated for a self-inflicted laceration.
The family dog was located within the residence alive, however, sustained a significant laceration to his back. The dog was immediately transported to an area veterinary hospital.
A large knife was recovered from the suspect’s bedroom that was believed to have been used in the attack on the dog. Detective Scalabrini of the Point Pleasant Police Department charged Gregory Lepsky with Terroristic Threats 2C:12-3a, Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purpose 2C:39-4d, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon 2C:39-5d, Criminal Mischief 2C:17-3a and Animal Cruelty 4:22-17c(1).
Through the course of this investigation, information was developed to connect Mr. Lepsky with ISIS and a potential plan to build and use a pressure cooker bomb. Detectives from the Point Pleasant Police Department commenced a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.
Gregory Lepsky, 20, of Point Pleasant, New Jersey, will appear in federal court today to face allegations that he planned to construct and use a pressure cooker bomb in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a designated foreign terrorist organization. Lepsky is charged by criminal complaint with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS.
During searches of computers and other digital evidence linked to Lepsky, law enforcement found evidence of Lepsky’s plan to build and detonate a bomb as part of his support for ISIS. During several social media communications, Lepsky told others that he intended to fight on behalf of ISIS, and that he would, if necessary, become a martyr by driving a “bunch of explosives” to where the “enemies” could be found and blowing himself up.
Law enforcement 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 to Lepsky of the pressure cooker a short time before his arrest. In addition, law enforcement 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.