Three men – a citizen of the Philippines, a U.S. citizen based in Pakistan, and a Canadian citizen – have been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged ISIS-inspired plan to blow up targets in New York during Ramadan 2016, according to federal officials.
Nineteen-year-old Canadian citizen Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19-year-old U.S. citizen based in Pakistan Talha Haroon, and 37-year-old Philippine citizen Russell Salic were arrested and charged in relation to the terror plot, according to NBC New York, which cited Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim. Canadian citizen El Bahnasawy was arrested over a year ago in May 2016 and has pleaded guilty to multiple terrorism offenses. U.S. citizen Haroon was arrested in Pakistan, and Philippine citizen Salic was arrested in the Philippines. According to the report, Salic wired money for the purpose of funding the attack plan.
The NBC report quotes El Bahnasawy as saying, “We just need guns in our hands” and “That’s how the Paris guys did it.” The report also stated that according to prosecutors, he had communicated with an undercover FBI agent and said he wanted to “shoot up concerts cuz they kill lots of people.” Haroon told the agent he wanted to shoot people and set off suicide vests in the subway.
The news comes just days after a Nevada man carried out the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing 58 and injuring almost 500 more at a Las Vegas concert venue. ISIS has repeatedly claimed responsibility though law enforcement involved in the investigation of the attack have repeatedly stated that no connection to the terror group has yet been found. Authorities are questioning the Las Vegas attacker’s girlfriend. Her family and authorities have stated that the attacker had sent her to visit her family in the Philippines before he carried out his attack.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana