3 Muslims charged in Islamic State jihad plot to target New York concerts, landmarks, subways

“3 Charged in Alleged ISIS-Inspired Plot to Target New York Concerts, Landmarks, Subways: Feds,”  NBC New York, October 6, 2017:

Authorities have cuffed three men in connection with an alleged ISIS-inspired plot to target concerts, landmarks and crowded subways in New York City in 2016, federal prosecutors announced Friday afternoon.

Three men — Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen; Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen based in Pakistan; and Russell Salic, a 37-year-old Philippines citizen — were all arrested on terror-related charges in the alleged plot that would have targeted New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2016, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.

El Bahnasawy was detained on May 21, 2016, after he traveled to Cranford, New Jersey, to carry out the attacks; he has since pleaded guilty to multiple terrorism offenses. Haroon had allegedly made plans to travel to New York to join El Bahnasawy and was arrested in Pakistan. Salic, who allegedly wired money to the U.S. to fund the attack, was arrested in his home country.

Attorney information for the three men wasn’t immediately available. El Bahnasawy will be sentenced in December and could face life in prison; the other two men could also spend the rest of their lives behind bars, if convicted.

Kim’s office said the plot was more aspirational than operational, but the trio used chat apps to talk about setting off bombs and shooting people in Times Square and the subway system. Prosecutors added that Al Bahnasawy also communicated with an undercover agent posing as an ISIS sympathizer about wanting to “shoot up concerts cuz they kill lots of people.”

“We just need guns in our hands,” El Bahnasawy said. “That’s how the Paris guys did it.”

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.

“When we run out of bullets we let the vests go off,” he said on May 5, 2016.

Then, three days later Haroon added, “NY Needs to fall. It’s a must.”

Prosecutors add that El Bahnasawy bought bomb-making materials while in Canada; Haroon allegedly met with an explosives expert in Pakistan to get more information on how to build bombs.

Around the same time, the two allegedly had been talking with Salic, known as “the doctor,” about getting money to carry out the attack. Salic, who also maintained a pro-ISIS social media presence, allegedly wired $423 to the undercover to help pay for the attacks on May 11, 2016, and told the agent he’d send more in the future.

Around that time, prosecutors said that the undercover sent Salic a picture of hydrogen peroxide El Bahnasawy had bought to carry out the attacks; Salic allegedly responded by saying he might carry out his own attack if he wasn’t able to go to Syria to join ISIS. He then allegedly wrote that “(I)t would be a great pleasure if we can slaughter” New Yorkers….

Source: Jihad Watch