Sus­pects ar­rested over Is­lamic State-inspired New York City bomb plot

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

A young Amer­i­can who pledged al­le­giance to the Is­lamic State group was ar­rested in New York on Wed­nes­day af­ter try­ing to stab an FBI agent, of­fi­cials said.

Fa­reed Mu­muni, 21, is the third sus­pect de­tained in con­nec­tion with an al­leged plot to bomb the city on be­half of IS, which has de­clared a “caliphate” based in Iraq and Syria.

Mun­ther Omar Saleh, a 20-yearold stu­dent at an aero­nau­tics col­lege in Queens, has been iden­ti­fied as one of the other sus­pects.

Mu­muni was ar­rested at his home on Staten Is­land af­ter lung­ing at an FBI spe­cial agent with a kitchen knife. The agent was wear­ing body ar­mor and sus­tained only mi­nor in­juries.

A search of his mother’s car, which he also used, un­earthed a duf­fel bag con­tain­ing another large kitchen knife, court pa­pers said.

Mu­muni al­legedly con­fessed to pledg­ing al­le­giance to IS, in­tend­ing to travel to IS-con­trolled ter­ri­tory and to dis­cussing how to build a pres­sure cooker bomb with Saleh.

He was ex­pected to ap­pear be­fore a fed­eral court in Brook­lyn later Wed­nes­day. Pros­e­cu­tors will de­mand cus­tody with­out bail. He faces a max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 years if con­victed.

Saleh, who al­legedly trans­lated IS pro­pa­ganda into English, was ar- rested last Satur­day — also af­ter al­legedly try­ing to at­tack a sur­veil­lance of­fi­cer with a knife.

Mu­muni and Saleh dis­cussed ways to at­tack law en­force­ment — us­ing guns and a bomb, pros­e­cu­tors say.

Vis­ited ‘spy’ Store

Court pa­pers say that Saleh also con­fessed to pledg­ing al­le­giance to the IS group and pros­e­cu­tors say his brows­ing history pro­vided an alarm­ing record of his twisted ide­ol­ogy.

In Septem­ber 2014 he al­legedly tweeted “i fear AQ (al-Qaida) could be get­ting too mod­er­ate” and this year ex­pressed sup­port for the gun­men who at­tacked the Char­lie Hebdo mag­a­zine in France.

In other tweets he also praised the burn­ing to death of a cap­tured Jor­da­nian pi­lot and the be­head­ing of a Ja­panese jour­nal­ist by IS.

On May 7, he al­legedly told an in­for­mant he was “try­ing to do an op” — short­hand for op­er­a­tion — and emailed him­self in­for­ma­tion from the In­ter­net on how to build a pres­sure cooker bomb.

Pros­e­cu­tors al­lege that Saleh and the third sus­pect searched online for com­po­nents and tools to make a bomb, such as a pres­sure cooker, drill, LED light, propane and a gar­den hose.

At the end of May, Saleh looked up New York land­marks and tourist at­trac­tions on the In­ter­net to as­sess po­ten­tial tar­gets for a bomb at­tack, the court pa­pers said.

Ear­lier in the month he al­legedly vis­ited a “spy” store in Queens, which sells mi­cro­phone de­tec­tors and hid­den cam­eras, although he ap­peared to leave with­out pur­chas­ing any­thing.

He sub­se­quently bought a dig­i­tal wrist watch from another store, which the crim­i­nal com­plaint signed by an FBI agent, pointed out “may be used as a timer for an ex­plo­sive de­vice.”

And he searched online for firearms, knives, am­mu­ni­tion, masks and a bul­let­proof vest as well as beards and wigs, which could be fash­ioned into dis­guises.

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