Haroon allegedly made plans to travel from Pakistan to New York City to join El Bahnasawy in carrying out the attacks.
A 20-year-old Canadian citizen has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in the US for plotting with an individual residing in Pakistan to conduct bombings and shootings in New York City’s popular Times Square and subway system during the Islamic holy month of Ramzan in 2016. Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a Canadian citizen and resident, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for plotting to carry out the terrorist attacks in New York City during the summer of 2016 in support of the Islamic State (ISIS).
He had pled guilty in October 2016 before US District Judge Richard Berman to a seven-count superseding information charging him with terrorism offenses. “In the name of ISIS, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy planned an elaborate attack to wreak havoc and destruction on New York City,” United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said. Berman added that El Bahnasawy planned to detonate bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and to shoot civilians at concert venues. “Demonstrating his commitment to carry out the attacks, El Bahnasawy pinpointed bomb locations on a map of the subway system, and acquired an array of bomb-making materials. El Bahnasawy aspired, in his words, to ‘create the next 9/11′,” Berman said.
According to the Indictment, El Bahnasawy, using encrypted electronic messaging applications, plotted with 20-year-old US citizen residing in Pakistan Talha Haroon and 38-year-old Philippines citizen Russell Salic to conduct bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramzan in 2016, all in the name of ISIS.
He acquired bomb-making materials and helped secure a cabin within driving distance of New York City to use for building explosive devices and staging the NYC attacks. Haroon allegedly made plans to travel from Pakistan to New York City to join El Bahnasawy in carrying out the attacks. As the two prepared to execute the NYC attacks, Salic allegedly wired money from the Philippines to the United States to help fund the terrorist operation.
An undercover FBI agent infiltrated the co-conspirators’ terrorist plot, posing as an ISIS supporter prepared to join in the attacks. The FBI arrested El Bahnasawy in May 2016 after he traveled from Canada to the New York City area in preparation for the attacks, and he has been in custody since that time. Haroon was arrested in Pakistan in September 2016, and Salic was arrested in the Philippines in April 2017, based on complaints filed against them in Manhattan federal court, and they remain in foreign custody pending proceedings for their extradition to the United States. In addition to the prison term, El Bahnasawy was sentenced to lifetime supervised release.