What to Know
- A NY judge has sentenced a Canadian citizen to 40 years in prison for plotting a Times Square subway attack in 2016 that never occurred
- The judge rejected a prosecutor's arguments for a life sentence, citing Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy's mental illness and addiction issues
- U.S. District Judge Richard Berman said he was not opposed to El Bahnasawy serving his sentence in Canada.
A New York judge has sentenced a Canadian citizen to 40 years in prison for plotting a Times Square subway attack that never occurred.
Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, was sentenced to decades in prison Wednesday for plotting to carry out terrorist attacks in the name of ISIS in New York City during the summer of 2016, prosecutors say.
El Bahnasawy plead guilty in October, 2016 in federal court in Manhattan to the terror charges.
El Bahnasawy, a Canadian citizen, plotted with Talha Haroon, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen living in Pakistan, and Russell Salic, a 38-year-old Philippines citizen and resident, to commit bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2016. El Bahnasawy had acquired bomb making materials and a cabin within driving range of New York City to be used to assemble the bombs, court papers say.
Haroon planned to travel to New York to help carry out the attacks and Salic wired money from the Philippines to fund the operation, the court papers say.
El Bahnasawy was arrested after he traveled from Canada to New York after an undercover FBI agent infiltrated the plot posing as an ISIS supporter. Haroon was later arrested in Pakistan and Salic was arrested in the Philippines, prosecutors say.
“Bahnasawy planned to detonate bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and to shoot civilians at concert venues,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. “El Bahnasawy aspired, in his words , to ‘create the next 9/11.’”
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman rejected a prosecutor's arguments for a life sentence, citing Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy's mental illness and addiction issues.
The mother of the Kuwaiti-born defendant arrested in 2016 interrupted the announcement of the sentence, shouting "This is not justice!" as she left the courtroom.
Earlier, her son had asked the judge for a "second chance," saying he was "nowhere near the mentality" he was when he became radicalized online.
Berman said he was not opposed to El Bahnasawy serving his sentence in Canada.