What to Know
- Three men have been arrested in an alleged ISIS-inspired plot to target concerts, the subway system and Times Square in 2016
- One of the suspects, Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, told an undercover agent that he aspired to "create the next 9/11" with the attack
- El Bahnasawy has pleaded guilty and faces life in prison; the other two men also face life in prison, if convicted
Newly obtained video shows one of three men accused of plotting to carry out ISIS-inspired attacks on concerts and the subway in New York City last year, authorities say.
In the video provided by Filipino media group ABS-CBN, 37-year-old Russell Salic, an orthopedic surgeon from the Philippines, is seen in a Manila court on Aug. 14 of this year.
The video shows Salic in an orange shirt as he faces a prosecutor at a hearing at the Department of Justice in Manilla. It also shows him being escorted out of the venue and talking to a reporter while being led away.
"It's a big fat lie," he says when a reporter asks him about the allegations. "Fabricated."
Salic is accused of sending money to help fund the planned attacks, authorities say. He allegedly told an undercover FBI agent posing as an Islamic extremist that his ultimate goal was to join ISIS in Syria, and that he wanted to “slaughter” people in New York.
Salic is awaiting extradition to the United States. A Philippine court is deciding whether to approve the request for extradition and whether he should face criminal complaints in the Philippines first.
The other two suspects are Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen, and Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen based in Pakistan.
The three men allegedly used chat apps to talk about bringing a car bomb into Times Square, gunning down subway riders before detonating vests and opening fire on concertgoers in the vein of the Paris terror attacks of 2015.
Authorities say the men wanted to kill and injure as many people as possible. They were arrested before obtaining any weapons or constructing any devices, according to authorities.
FBI and NYPD officials told the I-Team the plot was more aspirational than operational. But according to the indictments, Al Bahnasawy, who has already pleaded guilty to multiple charges, traveled to Cranford, New Jersey, in May of 2016 and had designs on carrying out the attacks before he was cuffed by authorities waiting there for him.
According to prosecutors, El Bahnasawy began talking with one another -- and the undercover agent -- in the spring of 2016. Over the month of May, they allegedly plotted to carry out a variety of attacks in the city during the Islamic holy month of Ramadam -- that year, from June 6 to July 5 -- or on Memorial Day. They then reached out to Saric, who they called "The Doctor," in May to help finance their plans.
Prosecutors said that Al Bahnasawy and Haroon identified the 7 and 4/5/6 subway lines and Times Square as ideal targets and talked about trapping people inside the Crossroads of the World “and kill as many people as possible.”