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Undercover agent foils plot to 'create next 9/11' in New York City, prosecutors say

Prosecutors say suspects discussed ideas for an attack with an undercover agent who
posed online as an Islamic State supporter.
04:08, UK,
Saturday 07 October 2017
Times Square, New York City
Times Square was among the targets in the alleged terror plot

Three men planned to "create the next 9/11" by staging coordinated shootings and
bombings in New York City, prosecutors have revealed.

The alleged plot would have seen explosives detonated in Times Square and on the
city's subway, as well as shootings at concert venues in June 2016.

Although an undercover agent disrupted the alleged plot more than year ago, the
arrests of three suspects remained secret until police completed a terror

Prosecutors say Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, and Talha Haroon, also aged 19,
unwittingly discussed their ideas for an attack with the undercover agent who posed
online as an Islamic State supporter.

According to court documents, El Bahnasawy sent the agent an image of Times Square
with a message saying: "We seriously need to car bomb Times Square. Look at these
crowds of people!"

New York City subway

One suspect allegedly said the subway was the 'perfect' place to shoot passengers
In other messages, he allegedly expressed a desire to "create the next 9/11" and
"shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot peoplewe just walk in with guns in our

El Bahnasawy purchased bomb-making materials, including hydrogen peroxide, and

shipped them to the undercover agent, prosecutors say.

He was also said to have acquired a cabin within driving distance of New York City
to build explosives in.

Meanwhile, Haroon allegedly asked an explosives expert for advice and planned to
travel from Pakistan to help El Bahnasawy carry out the attack.

The 19-year-old told the undercover agent the subway was a "perfect" place to shoot
passengers, adding that "when we run out of bullets we let the vests go off",
according to court documents.

Russell Salic, a 37-year-old from the Philippines, is accused of sending money to

El Bahnasawy and Haroon to fund the alleged plot.

Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a Canadian citizen, was arrested in New Jersey and

pleaded guilty to seven terror charges in October 2016.

He is set to be sentenced in December and faces life in prison.

Talha Haroon was held in Pakistan in September 2016, while Salic was arrested in
the Philippines in April.
Both are set to be extradited to the US.