- The Washington Times
Friday, October 6, 2017

Federal prosecutors announced on Friday the arrest of three men accused of planning to carry out terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State and targeting New York City’s subway system, Times Square as well as various concert venues.

Authorities said the three men had been planning an attack in the summer of 2016 during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan but were thwarted by an undercover FBI agent who posed as a supporter of the Islamic State. They planned to detonate bombs at Times Square and in the city’s subway system and to open fire inside various concert venues, according to prosecutors.

All three men were arrested months earlier and their criminal charges held under seal until Friday.

Authorities identified them as Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen who was arrested in May 2016 after traveling to New York City; Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen Based in Pakistan; and Russell Salic, a 37-year-old Philippines citizen.

According to prosecutors, Mr. El Bahnasawy and Mr. Haroon had plotted to carry out the attacks while Mr. Salic provided money to help the men carry out the attack.

Mr. El Bahnasawy has already pleaded guilty to terrorism related charges in connection with the plot. Authorities are still working to extradite the other two men.

Prosecutors said Mr. El Bahnasawy and Mr. Haroon had been communicating via messaging apps and shared plans to attack high-profile locations in New York. Mr. El Bahnasawy purchased bomb-making ingredients and equipment and booked a cabin where they could assemble the device. Mr. Haroon intended to travel to New York to join him but was arrested before he left Pakistan.

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