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Teen pleads guilty to trying to assassinate Pope Francis

A New Jersey teenager has pleaded guilty to plotting to assassinate Pope Francis during his Philadelphia, US visit.

Santos Colon pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden to a charge of attempting to provide material support to terrorists, according to court records.

The 17-year-old had tried recruiting an FBI operative, whom the teenager thought was a sniper, to join him in the plot.

“Colon, also known as Ahmad Shakoor, had tried to recruit a person he thought was a sniper to join him in his plot, which involved shooting the Pope during his Papal mass and setting off explosive devices, according to a statement from Acting U.S. Attorney William E Fitzgerald and Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord,” read the article in part.

The suspect is a US citizen and prosecutors say he faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“Colon is next scheduled to appear before Hillman for a status conference on May 5, according to court records. A sentencing date has not been set,” reported nj.com.

Pope Francis was in Philadelphia for two days and during his last day there, on September 27, he celebrated the closing Papal Mass at the World Meeting of Families.