Two Queens women pleaded guilty to plotting an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack in New York City involving bombs, authorities say.
Asia Siddiqui, 35, and Noelle Velentzas, 31, both pleaded guilty in a Brooklyn federal court on Friday for attempting to build a weapon of mass destruction.
Siddiqui and Velentzas, who are both U.S. citizens residing in Queens, admitted in court that they looked up recipes for homemade explosives and went shopping at Home Depot with the intent to build bombs that would go off at government targets between 2013 and 2015.
They also mentioned that they corresponded with a third person by the name of “Mel,” who turned out to be an undercover officer who caught them on tape discussing their plans for mass destruction.
“Noelle, Mel and I discussed the need to prepare for jihad,” Siddiqui told Brooklyn federal Judge Sterling Johnson Jr., reading from a prepared written statement.
Authorities arrested Velentzas and Siddiqui following a sting operation where an undercover officer used a wire to track their statements. Officers searching their homes recovered a pressure cooker, fertilizer, three gas tanks, handwritten notes for bomb recipes, and jihadist literature, according to court documents from 2015.
Both women face prison sentences of up to 20 years, but each of them could serve less time due to time served while awaiting trial for more than four years.
Velenzas is expected to be sentenced on December 5 and Siddiqui will face sentencing on December 18.