NY terror attacks foiled by undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

  • NY terror attacks foiled by undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

NY terror attacks foiled by undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

Federal authorities revealed Friday they had arrested and charged three men in connection with a 2016 plot to carry out bombings and shootings in crowded areas of New York City, then kept the court case under seal for more than a year as investigators worked the case.

The charges against Canadian citizen Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, Philippine citizen Russell Salic, 37, and Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old United States citizen residing in Pakistan, were revealed in court.

Three men have pleaded guilty to terror charges related to a plot to carry out ISIS-inspired attacks in New York City, the US Department of Justice announced in a press release Friday afternoon.

According to prosecutors, El Bahnasawy began talking with one another - and the undercover agent - in the spring of 2016.

The trio allegedly used chat apps to plan their attack.

Haroon said that Times Square was "a flawless place to hit them".

El Bahnasawy also expressed a desire to "shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot of people", authorities said. "That's how Paris guys did it", the papers said.

Haroon told the agent that the subway would make a "perfect" target, and that suicide vests could be detonated after the attackers expended their ammunition. "We need a really strong bomb", he said.

Meanwhile, El Bahnasawy shipped the bomb-making materials to the United States and allegedly told the agent he wanted to practice shooting at the cabin, which would need refrigeration for the objective of making explosives.

El Bahnasawy told the undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent that Salic was a trusted IS supporter who had provided funding to help the group on prior occasions, according to the Justice Department.

In messages with his accomplices and an undercover agent, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy said that "these Americans need an attack" and that he aspired to "create the next September 11", around May 22, 2016. El Bahnasawy already pleaded guilty to seven charges. Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old living in Pakistan, allegedly made plans to travel to NY to help him.

The men face possible terms of life in prison on charges including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Salic's lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.

Haroon was arrested in Pakistan in September 2016 and Salic in April 2017, and their extradition to the USA is pending. That parallels the Paris attacks, but also Brussels and Mumbai. In 2016, a bomber who the terrorist group called "a soldier of the Khaliafah" killed 20 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Look at all this crowd!

However, former FBI Supervisor J.J. Klaver said the arrest wouldn't have made the arrest if the man's plans were "just idle talk". The trial of accused Chelsea bomber Ahmad Rahimi is now underway in lower Manhattan.