A New Jersey ISIS supporter pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring with others to help ISIS, admitting that members of his terror cell discussed attacking Times Square and 1 World Trade Center with “homemade bombs.”
Nader Saadeh, 20, said his brother and others shared diagrams of how to build bombs as part of their meetings earlier this year in New Jersey and on Staten Island.
“Did they discuss the following possible targets for the bombing attack: 1 World Trade Center … Times Square … Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology?” Judge Sarah Wigenton asked during the hearing.
“Yes,” Saadeh said.
Saadeh was part of a group of six homegrown ISIS supporters arrested by the FBI this summer in New York and New Jersey before they could acquire any weapons. Several of the suspects had said their first goal was to travel overseas to join with ISIS fighters.
Thursday’s plea hearing was the first time prosecutors detailed some of the specific targets in the New York area that were being scouted for an attack.
In September, Samuel Topaz also pleaded guilty. His lawyer at that time said the group had discussed buying guns and trying to travel to Washington D.C. to try to shoot tourists taking pictures outside the White House.
Vaughn Aeronautical College near LaGuardia Airport was also talked about as a possible target, apparently because accused co-conspirator Munther Omar Saleh was a one-time student there.
The FBI said all of the the suspects watched ISIS videos. Before his capture, Saadeh did fly overseas to try to join with ISIS fighters in Syria. He tried to travel through Turkey to join the group.
When Wigenton asked Saadeh if he was aware ISIS had been designated a terror organization, Saadeh said, "Yes." He also said he understood any attack would be carried out in the group's name.
Saadeh faces about 15 years when he is sentenced in March.