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Undercover FBI agent breaks up 2016 terror plot targeting Times Square, subways

08 October 2017
Undercover FBI agent breaks up 2016 terror plot targeting Times Square, subways

According to the District Attorney, multiple locations around New York City were targeted, including Times Square and the subway system as well as an array of concert venues.

An IS-style plot to target NY has been uncovered by U.S. authorities. The alleged plotters also referenced an ISIS attack on a concert venue in Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and wounded hundreds more.

One man in the United States and two others in Pakistan and the Philippines are under arrest and face charges of plotting the attacks which they wanted to carry out in the name of the Daesh Takfiri group.

The three men communicated with each other using a messaging app, but were tricked into revealing their plan to an undercover agent on the app posing as an ISIS member. They also wanted to plant bombs and shoot people in parts of the city during the holy month of Ramadan.

El Bahnasawy allegedly bought bomb-making materials and helped to secure a cabin within driving distance of the city where he'd allegedly planned to build the explosive devices, the DOJ said. 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". According to the report, Salic wired money for the objective of funding the attack plan.

The proposed attack - which was inspired by the 2015 Bataclan concert hall and Belgium metro terrorist attacks - would have taken place during Ramadan previous year, and was foiled after an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent operating under the guise of an ISIL supporter exposed their schemes.

Haroon told the undercover that they would need "perming cords", or detonator cords, adding that El Bahnasawy was acquiring "all that's needed", according to the complaint.

Haroon stated that he meant to fly from Pakistan to New York City to carry out the attacks with El Bahnasawy, and hoped to "cause great destruction to the filthy "kuffars" (infidels) by our hands".

The indictment said he also wanted to 'shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot of people'.

Salic boasted of his "public figure" status to the undercover agent, sending the following message: "I$3 ts not strict here". Salic, a 37-year-old resident of the Philippines, is accused of financing the plot by wiring money from the Philippines to Haroon and El Bahnasawy. Terrorists from all over the world usually come here as a breeding ground for terrorists. hahahaha. Around May 6, he told the agent he had researched concerts in the New York City area looking for one in a "closed area" and "far away from cops". But no worry here in Philippines.

All three men face sentences of life in prison.

Haroon was arrested on September 2016 in Pakistan, while Salic was busted in April 2017 in the Philippines. He is pending extradition to the US.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12.