Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

ISIS terror plot thwarted in NYC a year ago

ISIS terror plot thwarted in NYC a year ago

Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy has "a long history of drug use, drug treatment and relapse", his lawyers wrote in a letter filed under seal earlier this year.

Three Islamic State group sympathizers plotted to cause bloodshed at New York City concert venues, subway stations and Times Square before U.S. agents thwarted the worldwide terror plot, authorities said Friday.

DOJ stated Assistant U.S. Attorneys George Turner and Negar Tekeei of the Southern District of NY are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorneys Joshua Champagne and Larry Schneider of the National Security Division's Counterterrorism Section.

The three men were planning to terrorize New York City by executing ISIS-inspired attacks on the subway system and concert landmarks, the Independent reports. He later shipped the material to the undercover agent in the United States, where he and Haroon planned to use a cabin in a rural area within driving distance of the city to build bombs and take target practice, they said. But according to court documents unsealed last week, the three began talking with one another - and an undercover agent posing as an ISIS sympathizer - in the spring of 2016.

The attacks were to be carried out during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in summer 2016, authorities said.

In another, he expressed a desire to "shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot people". The papers say he at one point sent the undercover agent an image of Times Square with a smartphone message saying, "We seriously need to auto bomb times square". He also researched upcoming concerts in the city and talked about picking a show in "a concert hall thats far away from cops".

Haroon, meanwhile, told the undercover agent that he saw the subway as a "perfect" target for the attack, and that they should shoot as many train riders as possible before setting off suicide vests. Haroon was planning to fly to NY to help El Bahnasawy execute the attacks.

The plot was ultimately thwarted by an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigations officer, who convinced the defendants that he too was a supporter of ISIS and told them he would carry out the attacks along side them.

Read the whole story from The New York Times. Haroon was arrested in Pakistan; Salic, was arrested in his home country.

El Bahnasawy pleaded guilty in October 2016, but the case was sealed while the investigation continued.

All three suspects are facing a variety of charges carrying life terms in prison, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to bomb places of public use and public transportation, and conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries. Haroon and Salic were awaiting extradition overseas.

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