Suspects Arrested in Terror Plot to Strike New York
NBC has revealed that three suspects were arrested in the planning stages of a terror attack against NYC.
The arrests were made months ago, but are now becoming public after officials have had time to ensure no other people were involved in the planning of the attack.
In a joint statement from the Attorney General's office, the FBI, and the NYPD, the suspects are named as 19-year-old Canadian citizen Abdulrahman el Bahnasawy, 19-year-old U.S. citizen Talha Haroon, and 37-year-old Philippine Russell Salic. In conversations with undercover officials, the plans to target highly-trafficked areas such as Times Square or the subway system with bombs and shoot attendees at concert venues, citing inspiration in recent Paris and Brussels attacks.
The Canadian suspect has been arrested and pled guilty to terrorism offences. The two foreign nationals have been arrested and are expected to be extradited to the U.S. for sentencing. The suspects had not only contacted the undercover agent who was posing as an ISIS member, but revealed that they were in contact with actual ISIS members, attempting to receive the approval of the terrorist organization.
In preparation for the attacks during Ramadan in summer 2016, el Bahnasawy had purchased bomb-making materials and secured a cabin where the bombs would be made, Haroon had met with bomb experts and made plans to travel to the U.S., and Salic had wired money to fund the attack. In instant messenger chats, the suspects detailed carrying out missions with the intent of killing as many New Yorkers as possible before igniting suicide vests.