Three men living outside the U.S. planned to attack concerts, Times Square and crowded subways in 2016 in an ISIS-inspired attack that one of the suspects said he hoped would be “the next 9/11,” authorities announced on Friday afternoon.
The FBI said the three men — Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen; Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen based in Pakistan; and Russell Salic, a 37-year-old orthopedic surgeon in the Phillipines — allegedly used chat apps to talk about bringing a car bomb into the Crossroads of the World, gunning down subway riders before detonating vests and opening fire on concertgoers in the vein of the Paris terror attacks of 2015.
“NY Needs to fall. This is a must,” Haroon allegedly wrote in a message to an undercover agent posing as an ISIS sympathizer.
FBI and NYPD officials told the I-Team the plot was more aspirational than operational. But according to the indictments, Al Bahnasawy, who has already pleaded guilty to multiple charges, traveled to Cranford, New Jersey, in May of 2016 and had designs on carrying out the attacks before he was cuffed by authorities waiting there for him.