3 charged with plotting terrorist attacks in Times Square and subway

Investigators told WNBC the goal was to maim as many people as possible but the Canadian suspect

Two other men - Talha Haroon, 19, a USA citizen living in Pakistan, and Russell Salic, 37, a Philippine citizen - are in custody overseas awaiting planned extradition to the US. The other men are due to be extradited. He pleaded guilty to terrorism charges October 13, 2016 and is scheduled to be sentenced December 12, 2017.

Salic was the money man and sent funds from the Philippines and Haroon met with explosives experts in Pakistan and planned to join El Bahnasawy in the U.S. to carry out the attacks.

A Canadian man is suspected of plotting to attack New York City concerts, landmarks and subways, according to federal authorities.

According to court documents, El Bahnasawy sent the agent an image of Times Square with a message saying: "We seriously need to auto bomb Times Square".

That would be followed up with explosions, Haroon said, adding, if they "get trapped" or "when we run out of bullets we let the vests go off".

Cars drive through Times Square in New York City, on January 7, 2003.

Law enforcer, however, thwarted their planned attacks.

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The release said the three used internet communications to plot their attacks, which El Bahnasawy described as "the next 9/11", telling an undercover agent he hoped to stage a gun attack at a concert. "Look at these crowds of people!" said one message with a picture attached.

Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, of Mississauga, Canada, bought bomb-making materials and studied maps of the subway system, but the planned attacks were thwarted by an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who was posing online as an Islamic State sympathizer, the charges said. He is the only one of the three to have pleaded guilty so far. Salic, who also maintained a pro-ISIS social media presence, allegedly wired $423 to the undercover to help pay for the attacks on May 11, 2016, and told the agent he'd send more in the future. "That's how Paris guys did it", the papers said in an apparent reference to the slaughter by men armed with assault weapons at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris during a performance of the rock group Eagles of Death Metal in 2015.

NY was the target of the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed almost 3,000 people and led the USA to launch an open-ended "war on terror" that included invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and military operations in a number of other countries. Mr Haroon faces five charges, and Mr Salic faces seven.

A Canadian has pleaded guilty to charges of plotting attacks in New York City for the so-called Islamic State in the summer of 2016, USA prosecutors said Friday.

The first three charges, which have also been brought against Haroon and Saric, all carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Haroon was arrested on September 2016 in Pakistan, while Salic was busted in April 2017 in the Philippines.

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