U.S. law enforcement officials say a 19-year-old Mississauga man has pleaded guilty to being part of a plot to bomb a busy location in New York City last year, and went as far as buying the ingredients to build the explosives.
The Mississauga man, along with two other men, sought to blow up Times Square, a subway station in the city or a concert venue in May 2016, police say.
The Canadian suspect, identified as Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, was arrested in Crawford, New Jersey on May 21, 2016 and has since pleaded guilty to terror offences.
In the spring of 2016, EL BAHNASAWY and HAROON were plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in New York City in support of ISIS during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan (which ran from approximately June 5 to July 5 in 2016). In the course of their preparations, EL BAHNASAWY and HAROON communicated, via electronic messaging applications accessible on cellphones, with a certain individual posing as an ISIS supporter who was, unbeknownst to them, the UC.
EL BAHNASAWY and HAROON declared their allegiance to ISIS in electronic communications with the UC, and expressed their intention of carrying out Paris- and Brussels-like terrorist attacks on behalf of ISIS in New York City. EL BAHNASAWY explained to the UC that he was in contact with an ISIS affiliate about obtaining official sanction of the planned attacks by the Khorasan Province, a branch of ISIS active in Pakistan. HAROON, who was based in Pakistan and was introduced to the UC by EL BAHNASAWY, informed the UC that he was in contact with ISIS associates within the Khorasan Province, and that “khurasan dawla [ISIS] has o[u]r back.” EL BAHNASAWY stated to the UC that “[t]hese Americans need an attack,” that he aspired to “create the next 9/11,” and that he planned to “com[e] to new York at around may 22” from Canada. HAROON stated that he intended to fly from Pakistan to New York City to carry out the NYC Attacks with EL BAHNASAWY, and hoped to “cause great destruction to the filthy kuffars by our hands.”