New Jersey man pleads guilty to plotting attack on pope during 2015 visit

(CNS) A New Jersey man pleaded guilty April 3 of plotting an attack on Pope Francis during the pontiff’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015 during the World Meeting of Families.

Santos Colon Jr., 17, of Lindenwold in Camden County, pleaded guilty in a New Jersey federal court to one count of attempting to provide material support to terrorists.

Court documents show Colon admitted to acting under the name Ahmad Shakoor in support of the Islamic State, though it is not clear whether he was in communication with the terrorist group.

In a statement, the U.S. Department of Justice said that in 2015, Colon planned between June 30 and August 14 to utilize a sniper to shoot the pope during his public Sunday Mass on September 27 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. He also planned to set off bombs in the surrounding area. [More]