NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Three men plotted terrorist attacks last summer in New York City in the name of ISIS, setting their sights on Times Square, subway stations and concert venues, authorities announced Friday.
The attack was supposed to happen in summer of 2016. As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported, one of the men allegedly wanted to create the next 9/11.
Federal terrorism charges were unsealed against the men on Friday
One of the men, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, bought bomb-making materials but was arrested in May 2016 after traveling from Canada to New Jersey to stage the attacks, authorities said. His arrest came following an investigation in which an undercover FBI agent posed as an Islamic extremist.
According to criminal complaints, El Bahnasawy sent the undercover agent an image of Times Square with a smartphone message saying, “We seriously need to car bomb Times Square. Look at these crowds of people!”
In another, El Bahnasawy expressed a desire to “shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot people. … We just walk in with guns in our hands. That’s how Paris guys did it,” the complaints said.
The complaints did not name the venues.
The 19-year-old El Bahnasawy pleaded guilty in October 2016, but the case was sealed while the investigation continued.
A U.S. citizen, 19-year-old Talha Haroon, was arrested in Pakistan in 2016. Russell Salic, 37, was arrested in the Philippines last April.
Tourists in Times Square on Friday were not deterred.
“It makes me nervous, but it’s not gonna stop me from coming here,” one woman said.
“We feel food. We feel safe. We see the New York policeman all around, and god bless em,” Tony Fugili said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)