Plot to bomb and mass shootings in New York concert venues, Times Square and the subway foiled by authorities
Three men – Canadian, Filipino and a US citizen charged in the ISIS inspired plot
The trio allegedly planned to attack Times Square, concert venues and NYC subway with bombs and guns during Ramadan in 2016
19-year-old Canadian Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, pled guilty to his role in plotting the attacks while his co-conspirators await extradition to the US
‘I wanna kill… them in thousands’ texted Talha Haroon, 19, a US citizen living in Pakistan who planned to join in the attack
Philippine citizen Russell Salic, 37, allegedly wired funds for the diabolical scheme
The men allegedly, ISIS supporters, all face sentences of life in prison
Abdulrahman Elbahnasawy seen in this Facebook profile dated October 2015 has admitted his lead role in the plot
U.S. Counter terrorism agents have thwarted an ISIS-inspired mass shooting and bomb plot targeting Times Square, concert venues, and the subway system in New York City.
Feds said three men living outside the U.S. planned to attack concerts, Times Square and crowded subways in 2016 in an ISIS-inspired attack that one of the suspects said he hoped would be “the next 9/11,” authorities announced on Friday afternoon.
Prosecutors on Thursday unsealed charges against Canadian Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, Philippine citizen Russell Salic, 37, and Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old US citizen residing in Pakistan.
Russell Salic, an orthopedic surgeon charged in a foiled Manhattan terror plot was arrested earlier this year for the ISIS-linked abduction and beheadings of two Filipino workers in the April 2016
Feds and local counter terrorism agents busted plot aimed at mass shooting and bombing of Times Square [photo] and other New York targets
All three were arrested months ago, but the charges had been sealed as feds and NYPD’s Counterterrorism Unit searched for possible co-conspirators.
19-year-old Canadian El Bahnasawy is in US custody and has pled guilty to federal terror charges, while his co-conspirators await extradition from foreign custody to face charges in the US.
Prosecutors say the three men had planned mass shootings and the bombing of heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan in 2016.
Plot leader El Bahnasawy, allegedly sent this image of Times Square to an undercover posing as an ISIS operator, telegraphing his blood lust: ‘we seriously need a bomb at times square… Look at these crowds of people!’
El Bahnasawy took the lead on the ground, entering the US from Canada to secure a cabin near New York City to use as an operating base and bomb-making facility, according to investigators.
Meanwhile, Haroon met with explosives experts in Pakistan and planned to join El Bahnasawy in the US to carry out the attacks, and Salic wired support funds from the Philippines, according to prosecutors.
The Jihadist sympathisers 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.
‘[W]e seriously need a car bomb at times square… Look at these crowds of people!’ El Bahnasawy messaged the undercover agent along with a picture of the New York City landmark last May, according to prosecutors.
El Bahnasawy also spoke glowingly of a plan to ‘shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot of people,’ the indictment said.
‘[W]e just walk in with guns in our hands. That’s how the Paris guys did it,’ the message said in apparent reference to the November 2015 attacks on the Bataclan theater, which left 130 dead in Paris.
Haroon on his part regards the New York subway was a ‘perfect’ target, telling the undercover there would be plenty of ‘women and kids’ to target and adding: ‘when we run out of bullets we let the vests go off,’ prosecutors said.
El Bahnasawy also sent this image of the NYC subway to the undercover agent describing the planned attack with circles and arrows: ‘The 2 subways we will blow up will be the purple one, and the green one,’ he wrote to the decoy
Harron also mused about an attack on Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, allegedly sending the message: ‘We surround the whole street and trap them and kill as many as possible.’
‘I wanna kill… them in thousands’ he allegedly wrote, ‘we have to make a ocean out of their blood… Leave no one standing.’
‘NY Needs to fall. It’s a must,’ Haroon allegedly texted the undercover federal agent.
In the Philipines, Salic, aka ‘The Doctor’, allegedly played the money man, sending funds to support the plot against New York City.
Prosecutors said that Salic gloated about the benefits of operating out of the Philippines in a message to the undercover: ‘Terrorists from all over the world usually come here as a breeding ground… hahahaha… But no worry here in Philippines. They don’t care bout IS[IS]… loll Only in west.’
Investigators monitored the plot to see how serious the men were, and began arresting them after El Bahnasawy purchased bomb-making materials and secured the cabin in the US.
On May 21, 2016, he entered the US from Canada and made his way toward the New York metro area. The FBI arrested El Bahnasawy that night in Cranford, New Jersey.
Talha Haroon was arrested in Pakistan in September 2016 and Russel Salic was arrested in the Philippines in April 2017.
El Bahnasawy has pleaded guilty to his role and awaits sentencing, as the two other men await extradition to the US to face charges.
All three men face sentences of life in prison.