Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Terror plot by ISIS sympathisers thwarted at concert venues in NY

Terror plot by ISIS sympathisers thwarted at concert venues in NY

They have been identified as Abdulrahman el Bahnasawy, Talha Haroon, and Russel Salic.

The defense claims add a layer of complexity to a case that the government kept secret until Friday, when the US attorney's office in Manhattan announced that El Bahnasawy had been arrested in New Jersey in May 2016 before the plot could get beyond the planning stages.

USA prosecutors revealed last week that Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, of Mississauga, Ont. confessed to an ISIS-inspired plot to target key New York City landmarks.

He is one of three men arrested in an alleged plot to attack New York City subways, Times Square and area concerts.

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 vehicle bomb times square".

Authorities said the planned attack was able to be stopped by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York Police Department previous year.

El Bahnasawy is a 19-year old Canadian citizen, who allegedly gathered the materials needed to create a bomb and assembled them in a cabin located within driving distance to NY.

A Canadian teen who pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges in connection with a plot to attack New York City landmarks has met in prison with Alberta lawyer Dennis Edney, who previously defended Omar Khadr, CTV News has learned. Bahnasawy was arrested on May 21, 2016, in New Jersey, after traveling to the United States from Canada. Prosecutors hope to extradite these men to America.

According to ABC News, El Bahnasawy shared with the undercover agent wanted to recreate the 9/11 attack and wanted to target concerts so a lot of people can be killed.

In New York, which hosts Times Square New Year's Eve and other events surrounded by high-rises, police say they use rooftop snipers to scan for threats, and make security sweeps of nearby hotels.

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.

Salic, 37, was accused of sending money to help fund the attacks, court papers said.

The undercover also 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.

Read the whole story from The New York Times.

El Bahnasawy has been in custody since May 2016 and has pleaded guilty to terrorism offenses, according to authorities.

Haroon was arrested in Pakistan in or about September 2016, and SALIC was arrested in the Philippines in or about April 2017.

El Bahnasawy will be sentenced in December and could face life in prison; his attorney declined to comment to the Associated Press on Friday.

Haroon and Salic are undergoing extradition proceedings, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement.

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