A teenage boy has plead guilty to attempting to assassinate Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. in 2015. The case has been quietly resolved out of the public eye.
According to prosecutors, Santos Colon of Lindenwold, New Jersey, was 15 when he plotted the death of Pope Francis. His motivation was to support ISIS, and he opted to hire a sniper who would kill the pope with a single shot.
He connected with a willing shooter and discussed making explosives. He asked the would-be assassin to purchase materials to make explosives.
As his final step, Colon took the name, “Ahmad Shakoor,” to show solidarity with the Islamic State.
The plan had just one flaw, the shooter he recruited was an undercover FBI agent. Just 12 days before the papal visit, agents raided his home and arrested him.
Colon is now 17, and as part of his plea deal he has agreed to forgo trial and be sentenced as an adult.
He faces a 15-year term in prison, but he may be given less time because of his age at the time of the crime. He will also be ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment. Because of his treatment, his sentencing will be delayed until 2021.
Pope Francis arrived in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. for the World Meeting of Families, and his trip was hailed as a resounding success.