One of the defendants, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, was arrested after traveling from Canada to New Jersey in May 2016 to stage the attacks, authorities said. Bahnasawy allegedly purchased bomb-making materials and helped secure a cabin within driving distance of New York City to use for building the explosive devices and staging the NYC attacks.
A Canadian citizen who's admitted plotting to attack Times Square, the subway and other NY targets in the name of the Islamic State group has struggled with drug addiction and unspecified psychological problems, according to court papers made public this week.
El Bahnasawy: "In the spring of 2016, I agreed with others to carry out an attack in Times Square, to support ISIL; specifically, we agreed to try to set off a bomb in Times Square". All three men have been arrested and one has pled guilty.
The would-be terrorist who admitted to plotting with two other men to attack concerts, subways and Times Square has a history of mental health issues and drug use, according to documents unsealed on Monday.
The three men were planning to terrorize New York City by executing ISIS-inspired attacks on the subway system and concert landmarks, the Independent reports.
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El Bahnasawy is a 19-year old Canadian citizen, who allegedly gathered the materials needed to create a bomb and assembled them in a cabin located within driving distance to NY. "I used the Internet and sent materials through the mail in furtherance of the conspiracy, and I also traveled from Canada to the United States".
In New York, which hosts Times Square New Year's Eve and other events surrounded by high-rises, police say they use rooftop snipers to scan for threats, and make security sweeps of nearby hotels.
El Bahnasawy was communicating with an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent posing as an ISIS supporter and declared his allegiance to the terror group, court documents said.
Haroon, meanwhile, told the undercover agent that he saw the subway as a "perfect" target for the attack, and that they should shoot as many train riders as possible before setting off suicide vests.
The lawyers noted that El Bahnasawy's family had travelled frequently from Ontario to NY to visit him at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan until his visits were halted after a disciplinary hearing on November 22, 2016.
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Around the same time, the two allegedly had been talking with Salic, known as "the doctor", about getting money to carry out the attack.
Read the whole story from The New York Times.
"Mr. El Bahnasawy himself needs time for his condition to continue improving so that he can fully participate in his presentence interview and sentencing", his lawyers wrote to judge on August 25.
El Bahnasawy, Haroon, and Salic have been charged with multiple crimes and will be facing life sentences.
Haroon was arrested in Pakistan in or about September 2016, and SALIC was arrested in the Philippines in or about April 2017.
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Haroon and Salic are undergoing extradition proceedings, acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said in a statement.