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Three Caught After Plotting Terror Attack Targeting NYC Landmarks, Concerts

Times Square.
Times Square. Photo Credit: File photo

Three men accused of an ISIS-inspired plot to attack landmarks, music concerts and crowded subways in New York City during the summer of 2016 have been arrested, federal authorities announced Friday.

Communicating through Internet messaging applications, the three men allegedly plotted to conduct bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan in 2016, all in the name of ISIS, said Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, of Canada purchased bomb-making materials and helped secure a cabin within driving distance of New York City to use for building the explosive devices and staging the planned NYC attacks, according to Kim.

Talha Haroon, 19, a U.S. citizen living in Pakistan, allegedly made plans to travel from Pakistan to New York City to join  El Bahnasawy in carrying out the attacks, and traveled within Pakistan to meet with explosives experts in furtherance of the plot, KIm said.

As the two prepared to execute the attacks, 37-year-old Russell Salic of the Philippines allegedly wired money from the Philippines to the United States to help fund the terrorist operation.

The planned attacks included detonating bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and shooting civilians at specific concert venues.

Law enforcement – the FBI and the NYPD – successfully thwarted this terrorist plot. An undercover FBI agent convinced the three that he was an ISIS supporter prepared to carry out the attacks with them.

El Bahnasawy, who was arrested in New Jersey, after traveling to the United States from Canada in preparation for carrying out the attacks in May 2016, spleaded guilty to terrorism offenses and is awaiting sentencing.

Haroon and Salic have been arrested in foreign countries by foreign authorities in connection with these charges and it is the hope and expectation of this Office and U.S. law enforcement that they will be extradited to the United States to face justice in a United States court, KIm said.

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