A plot inspired by ISIS aiming to kill “thousands” in New York City’s Times Square during the 2016 celebration of Ramadan was disrupted before it could occur, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Although the plotters were discovered in 2016, the charges against them were not made public until Friday.
The plot was foiled when the three men gave the details of their plans to attack Times Square, concert venues, the subway and other landmarks to an undercover agent, according to a statement from the Justice Department.
Officials said three men were arrested: Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, of Mississaugua, Canada; Talha Haroon, 19, a U.S. citizen of Pakistani heritage, and Russell Salic, 37, a Philippine citizen. They all face terror-related charges, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim.
El Bahnasawy was arrested on May 21, 2016, in Cranford, New Jersey. The Justice Department said he had “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 NYC attacks.”
Haroon was arrested in Pakistan. Salic was arrested in the Philippines.
The Justice Department said it monitored the electronic communications of the plotters. Haroon reportedly told an undercover agent that Times Square was “a perfect spot to hit them” and suggested the plan could include a “(d)rive-by, or we surround the whole street and trap them and kill as many as possible.”
El Bahnasawy told the undercover agent that they “seriously need a car bomb at Times Square. Look at these crowds of people!”
He also proposed that he and his co-conspirators “shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot of people.”
“(W)e just walk in with guns in our hands. That’s how the Paris guys did it,” he said.
The Justice Department reported that Haroon told the undercover agent that “NY Needs to fall. It’s a must.” He also discussed a subway attack targeting “women or kids,” adding that “when we run out of bullets we let the vests go off.”
“I wanna kill . . . them in thousands” he allegedly told the undercover agent. “We have to make a ocean out of their blood .. leave no one standing.”
Salic also told then agent “(i)t would be a great pleasure if we can slaughter” people in New York City.”
According to the Justice Department’s report, the attack was initially planned for around Memorial Day. (For more from the author of “Authorities Uncover ISIS Plot Against NYC” please click HERE)