A Brooklyn man named Zachary Clark was arrested this week after allegedly promoting ISIS propaganda, including bomb-making materials, and pledging allegiance to former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Sashemi al-Qurayshi.
“The defendant allegedly provided instructions for how to plan attacks on U.S. soil, encouraging ISIS supporters to attack in well-populated locations,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said about the case. “The National Security Division is committed to identifying and holding accountable those who support foreign terrorist organizations and pose a threat to our communities.”
According to the Department of Justice, Clark would regularly teach others in encrypted chatrooms on how to pick a target and carry out stabbing attacks.
"Clark’s propaganda included, among other things, calls for ISIS supporters to commit lone wolf attacks in New York City. For example, on or about Aug. 3, 2019, Clark posted instructions about how to conduct such an attack, including directions on how to select an attack target, how to conduct preoperational surveillance, how to conduct operational planning, and how to avoid attracting law enforcement attention when preparing for and conducting the attack," DOJ released in a statement. "On another occasion, Clark posted a manual entitled 'Knife Attacks,' which stated, among other things, that discomfort at 'the thought of plunging a sharp object into another person’s flesh' is 'never an excuse for abandoning jihad' and that '[k]nives, though certainly not the only weapon for inflicting harm upon the kuffar [non-believers,] are widely available in every land and thus readily accessible.' Clark urged the participants in encrypted chatrooms to attack specific targets, posting maps and images of the New York City subway system and encouraging ISIS supporters to attack those locations. Clark’s guidance also included posting a manual entitled 'Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom,' which included detailed instructions about constructing an explosive device."
Clark is charged with two federal counts, and each carries up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
"As alleged, Zachary Clark twice pledged allegiance to ISIS, and posted on encrypted pro-ISIS chatrooms numerous exhortations and instructions on bomb-making and other terrorist acts to be carried out in New York. Thanks to the Joint Terrorist Task Force, Clark now faces serious criminal charges for his alleged support of a terrorist organization bent on killing Americans,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said.
Clark is one of three men arrested or convicted in the New York area over the past three months of planning attacks against Americans on behalf of ISIS.