The U.S. Justice Department has charged an Idaho man for planning an attack on Christians at a church after declaring his allegiance to the Islamic State group. FBI agents arrested the suspect on Saturday, preventing the attack he intended to carry out the following day against churches in northern Idaho.

The individual involved in the scheme has been identified as 18-year-old Alexander Scott Mercurio from Coeur d’Alene. This city is located just east of Idaho’s border with Washington and approximately 25 miles away from Spokane, with a population of around 55,000 residents. Mercurio’s plan involved using knives, guns, and starting fires to target a church in the city on April 7, which was chosen as it fell on the Sunday before the conclusion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as per the FBI’s criminal complaint.

The individual was apprehended one day prior to the purported planned assault and accused of endeavoring to furnish material assistance or resources to a recognized foreign terrorist organization.

The DOJ said in its news release:

“According to the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, Mercurio pledged his allegiance to ISIS and intended to commit attacks on its behalf. He planned to attack individuals at churches in Coeur d’Alene on April 7 using weapons, including knives, firearms, and fire.”

According to reports, Mercurio purportedly came under the scrutiny of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and law enforcement agents diligently pursued his arrest to prevent an imminent attack on a church.

The Department of Justice did not disclose the identity of any particular church, but it revealed that Mercurio intended to target Christian places of worship on behalf of the terrorist organization. In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed that Mercurio had devised a sinister plan for a series of violent killings.

“As alleged in the complaint, the defendant swore an oath of loyalty to ISIS and planned to wage an attack in its name on churches in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” Garland said.

He added, “Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, the defendant was taken into custody before he could act, and he is now charged with attempting to support ISIS’s mission of terror and violence.”