NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City police say two men who wanted to buy boots, winter coats and other gear for Taliban fighters have been arrested on state-level terrorism charges.
Police say Humayoun Nabi and Ismail Alsarabbi were busted after a two-year investigation that involved confidential informants and undercover detectives.
The pair was behind bars on Thursday night but allegedly spent the past two years conspiring to provide supplies to the Taliban and Al Qaeda, CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported.
Authorities announced the arrests Thursday. They appeared in a Queens court earlier this week on charges of providing support for an act of terrorism and conspiracy.
Nabi, a Pakistani living in Queens, allegedly brought ski jackets and boots to an undercover NYPD cop at the Pan American Hotel on Queens Boulevard in Elmhusrt, according to prosecutors. The room was wired for sound and video.
Nabi allegedly claimed that he wanted to provide outerwear and boots to fighter in Afghanistan who were battling American soldiers. He apparently did so because he hates the United States, Jewish people, and American soldiers.
Alsrabbi allegedly joined Nabi in the plot and worked for months to gather money and supplies for terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, prosecutors said.
One of the men allegedly said that they wanted to help the Taliban target U.S. troops.
“We send them jackets so they can get warm and realize they got something to fight with,” he said, “Ultimate goal is to supply weapons…They should kill them and then cut them into pieces.”
Neighbors were shocked by the allegations.
“I’ve never heard anything like this before. (Is it alarming?) Yeah especially in this neighborhood,” Younas Senbati said.
Security experts called the revelation a good reminder for New Yorkers to remain vigilant.
“There are people who live among us, benefit from our culture, but still harbor very ill feelings against us. So, we have to remain vigilant and report it if need be,” Security Expert Manny Gomez said.
Lawyers for both defendants say their clients were victims of entrapment.
Police say they bought samples of winter gear to try out but hadn’t sent them overseas yet.
Police say the suspects believed the key to beating U.S. forces overseas was through properly outfitted Taliban soldiers.
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