Feds say they thwarted NYC terror plot targeting Times Square, concert venues

NEW YORK (AP) — Three Islamic State group sympathizers plotted to trigger bloodshed at New York Metropolis live performance venues, subway stations and Occasions Sq. earlier than U.S. brokers thwarted the worldwide terror plot, authorities stated Friday.

One of many defendants, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, was arrested after touring from Canada to New Jersey in Might 2016 to stage the assaults, authorities stated. The seize of the Canadian citizen got here after an investigation utilizing an undercover FBI agent posing as an Islamic extremist that additionally led to the arrests final yr of U.S. citizen Talha Haroon in Pakistan and Russell Salic within the Philippines, the place he’s a citizen.

In line with felony complaints, El Bahnasawy, 19, despatched the spy a picture of Occasions Sq. with a smartphone message saying, “We critically have to automotive bomb occasions sq.. Take a look at these crowds of individuals!”

In one other, he expressed a want to “shoot up live shows cuz they kill quite a bit individuals. … We simply stroll in with weapons in our arms. That’s how Paris guys did it,” the papers stated in an obvious reference to the slaughter by males armed with assault weapons on the Bataclan live performance corridor in Paris throughout a efficiency of the rock group Eagles of Dying Metallic in 2015.

The complaints unsealed Friday didn’t identify the New York Metropolis venues.

The spy and El Bahnasawy additionally have been in communication with the 19-yr-previous Haroon, who needed to hitch El Bahnasawy in New York Metropolis for the assaults, authorities stated. Haroon, who at one level met with an explosives skilled in Pakistan for info on constructing bombs, informed the spy the subway was a “good” place to shoot passengers, and that “once we run out of bullets we let the vests go off,” the courtroom papers stated.

After Haroon talked about what was wanted to construct explosives, El Bahnasawy purchased forty kilos of hydrogen peroxide, batteries, Christmas lights, thermometers and different elements generally utilized in do-it-yourself bombs, authorities stated. He later shipped the fabric to the spy in america, the place he and Haroon deliberate to make use of a cabin in a rural space inside driving distance of the town to construct bombs and take goal apply, they stated.

Salic, 37, was accused of sending cash to assist fund the assaults, courtroom papers stated. He advised the spy his final aim was to hitch the Islamic State group in Syria however that “it will be a fantastic pleasure if we will slaughter” individuals in New York, the papers…

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