A teenager from New Jersey has pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to provide material support to ISIS-inspired terrorists in an attempt to assassinate Pope Francis back in 2015. The planned attack occurred during the Pontiff's visit to Philadelphia, where he was hosting a public mass. The further sentencing will reflect a plea deal the teenager agreed to, which will include being tried as an adult.

The teen gave information to an undercover agent

The teenager has been identified as Santos Colon, who admitted on Monday that he attempted to conspire with snipers to attack the Pope, in addition to setting off explosive devices within close areas, while in a federal court in Camden, New Jersey, though he had been arrested back in 2015.

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The person Colon had believed was a sniper had been an undercover FBI employee incognito, and the attack had not taken place, when the Pope visited Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27, 2015. Colon had been conspiring with the figure he thought was a terrorist sniper from June 30 to August 14, 2015. Reportedly, Colon is also known in some circles as Ahmad Shakoor.

According to a statement, Colon admitted that he was inspired by the ISIS attacks to aid the possible attack on the Pope, although at this time it is still unsure what the motive had been for offering his help.

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What will happen to Colon now?

Colon is a United States citizen from Lindenwold, New Jersey, and he will be tried as an adult. Facing up to fifteen years in prison, he will be charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to terrorists. In addition, he also faces a fine of $250,000, which is said to be twice the amount of any monetary gain or loss from the offense.

As Colon is taking a plea deal, it has been agreed that further charges will not be held against him.

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While Colon is believed to be 17 years of age, and was originally going to be tried as a minor, part of the arranged plea deal required that he would be tried as an adult. According to reports, an investigation is said to still be ongoing. In addition, no date has been set for sentencing, although Colon is expected to appear at a status conference on May 5.

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