SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Berkshire County man indicted on terrorism-related charges, was arraigned in U.S. District Court Thursday on two terrorism-related charges. On Thursday, he plead not guilty to both.
Ciccolo has plead not guilty to charges of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. Alexander Ciccolo was indicted in federal court last week. He’s also pleaded not guilty to previous charges before last week’s indictment: illegally possessing a firearm, and assaulting a nurse during a jail intake process.
Ciccolo is accused of plotting a terrorist attack on a college campus. The 23 year-old Berkshire county man was arrested last July after allegedly ordering several firearms from an FBI informant. The day before his arrest at his Adams apartment, Ciccolo was seen at the North Adams Walmart buying a pressure cooker similar to the one used in the Boston Marathon bombings.
“I don’t have any concerns at the moment. I think he’s in as good a place as someone can be under his circumstances,” Ciccolo’s attorney David Hoose told 22News when asked how Alexander has been doing over the last year. “Mr. Ciccolo, like anyone facing a serious charge, the penalties are extreme.”
If found guilty, Ciccolo could face life in prison.
Prosecutors believe the 23-year-old is a supporter of ISIS. During a court hearing last year, they showed a video of Ciccolo telling an FBI agent that he supports the Islamic State.
Because of the amount of evidence both the defense and prosecution have to sort through, the judge has designated Ciccolo’s case as a “complex case”. Hoose told 22News, “There’s just a lot of material, sorting through it, analyzing it, and organizing it in a way that can be useful is step one.”
The judge said several times at Thursday’s arraignment how urgent it is for both councils to select a date and time for a status conference to proceed with the case, since Ciccolo has been incarcerated for over a year.
The judge scheduled a status conference for November 29th at 2:00 PM. It was requested that Ciccolo attend the hearing. He’s currently being held at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island.
Ciccolo’s mother and step father were in court for his arraignment on Thursday. Ciccolo entered the courtroom wearing a grey sweatshirt, tan shirt and pants, glasses, and a white cap.