News Worms
News Worms

Three arrested over thwarted IS-inspired attacks on NY landmarks

Three arrested over thwarted IS-inspired attacks on NY landmarks

A bombing jihadist targeting Times Square and the NY subway system, on the model of the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels: it is that the prosecutor of NY revealed Friday to have foiled in the summer of 2016, thanks to the intervention of an undercover agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The two other men were arrested outside of the US and the hope, according to the release, is that they will be extradited to the USA for prosecution.

One of the men, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, bought bomb-making materials but was arrested after traveling from Canada to New Jersey in May 2016 to stage the attacks, authorities said. His sentence is pending. He is awaiting extradition to the United States. Mr Haroon was caught in Pakistan in September 2016 and Mr Salic was arrested in April 2017 in the Philippines.

Cars drive through Times Square in New York City, on January 7, 2003. The plot was uncovered and interrupted months ago, but authorities announced it today because the search had long continued to determine other possible terrorism connections.

"Look at these crowds of people!" he wrote, according to prosecutors.

"We need a really strong bomb", he said. "That's how the Paris guys did it", el Bahnasawy allegedly said before he was arrested, referencing the November 2015 attacks in Paris, which included an attack at a concert at the Bataclan Theater. One of the suspects told an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent he wished to "create the next 9/11".

The trio primarily used internet messaging applications to plot the attacks, and El Bahnasawy and Haroon declared their allegiance to the Islamic State while communicating with an undercover officer posing as an IS supporter, the department said. According to indictments unsealed yesterday by the Department of Justice, a three-man Islamist terror cell plotted versions of all the above for another attack on New York City.

In a communication in April 2016, El Bahnasawy introduced himself to the undercover agent, saying, "I'm one of the guys from the U.S. project", according to one complaint. "We just need to get the rifles in our hands".

All three men were charged with seven terror-related counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. All of these three charges carry the maximum penalty of life in prison. Haroon was arrested in Pakistan and is pending extradition.

They said Salic, who had a pro-Islamic State social media presence, told the undercover agent he was prepared to transfer money to help fund the attacks and claimed to have previously sent money to other countries to support the Islamic State.

Haroon was arrested in Pakistan in September 2016 and Salic in April 2017, and their extradition to the USA is pending.


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