The FBI arrested two women in New York City who allegedly planned to bomb the city after the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and other jihadist groups influenced them. They will appear in a Brooklyn court Thursday afternoon.
An undercover investigation discovered the plans of Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31. The women lived together in Queens “until recently,” where they reportedly attempted to build a homemade bomb.
“Arrests were made by the JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force] and the NYPD in a national security investigation early this morning in New York City,” announced John Miller, the head of NYPD’s counterterrorism operation.
The complaint states that Siddiqui owned “several propane gas tanks as well as instructions on how to turn them into explosive devices.” She maintained a personal relationship “with a prominent member of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” and “was in contact with the terror group.”
An undercover operative claimed Valentzas “praised the 9/11 terror attacks” and said “being a martyr in a suicide attack guarantees entrance into heaven.” A picture of Osama bin Laden with an AK-47 allegedly decorated her cell phone. She also allegedly turned to pressure cookers after the Boston Marathon bombing.
“If we get arrested, the police will point their guns at us from the back and maybe from the front,” Valentzas was quoted in the complaint. “If we can get even one of their weapons, we can shoot them.”
Miller also said there is no evidence that directly links the two women to ISIS, though police found the terrorist group’s propaganda on their computers. But the women might be linked to people in America associated with the group. CBS reports:
Velentzas was allegedly friends with U.S. airman Tairod Pugh since August 2014. Last month, Pugh was indicted on terrorism charges after allegedly plotting to travel to Syria to join ISIS – one of several recent ISIS-related arrests across the U.S.
Last month, federal prosecutors said an Illinois Army National Guard soldier vowed to bring “the flames of war to the heart” of America if he was unable to get to the Middle East to join ISIS and his cousin bragged he could kill up to 150 people in a terrorist attack in the U.S.