A 19-year-old Waterville man was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday on a charge of conspiring to provide material aid to terrorists after reportedly planning to set off explosives at a Chicago mosque.

Xavier Pelkey, who was arrested on Feb. 11, 2022, by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation after three explosive devices made with fireworks were   found at his home, was also indicted on a charge of possessing unregistered destructive devices, according to U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee.

FBI agents also allegedly found a number of hand-painted ISIS flags in Pelkey’s home during the investigation. The explosives contained various items, including staples and thumb tacks, that were meant to maximize injuries if they were detonated, according to court documents.

Pelkey colluded with two juveniles — one from Kentucky and one from the Chicago area — over social media to plan the attack, according to court documents. The trio allegedly planned to carry out the attack during spring break in late March.

One of those two defendants allegedly said that the group had planned to infiltrate the mosque, separate the children from the adults and then “murder the adults” in the name of ISIS, according to court documents.

Pelkey was initially indicted for possessing an unregistered destructive device on April 15, and pleaded not guilty to the charge in federal court on April 21.

Wednesday’s indictment supersedes the original indictment handed down last April, and Pelkey will face an arraignment for both charges of conspiracy and possession of an unregistered explosive device.

If convicted of the charges, Pelkey could face up to 15 years in prison on the conspiracy to provide aid charge and 10 years in prison on the destructive device charge.

Avatar photo

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.