A Canadian has pleaded guilty to charges of plotting terror attacks in New York City for the so-called Islamic State in the summer of 2016, U.S. prosecutors said Friday.
The planned attacks, which were thwarted by law enforcement, included detonating explosives in Manhattan’s Times Square and in the city’s subway, authorities said.
Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen from Mississauga, has pleaded guilty to charges of terrorism. The other two charged are Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen living in Pakistan and Russell Salic, a 37-year-old Philippines citizen. The alleged plot would have targeted New York City in 2016 during the Islamic held month of Ramadan.
A statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says that the planned attacks included detonating bombs in Times Square and the New York City Subway System as well as shooting civilians at specific concert venues.
WATCH: Ongoing coverage of terror attacks in Canada
El Bahnasawy has been in custody since May, 2016 and has pled guilty to terrorism-related offenses. Haroon and Salic have been arrested outside the United States by foreign authorities, though the DOJ hopes to have these individuals extradited back to the United States for trial.
The Canadian suspect was arrested in late May of 2016 in New Jersey after travelling back to Canada from the United States in preparation for carrying out the terror attacks. Haroon was arrested in Pakistan and Salic was arrested in the Philippines almost a full year later.
The statement from the DOJ goes on to say that while in Canada during May, 2016, El Bahnasawy purchased “an array of bomb-making materials” to use in the attacks, including approximately 40 pounds of hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is a primary ingredient in TATP (triacetone triperoxide), an explosive often used in improvised explosives. Furthermore, when El Bahnasawy was in Canada during this time, he also purchased batteries, Christmas lights, thermometers, and aluminum foil.
The FBI says they caught the trio using an undercover agent who convinced them that they were talking to another ISIS supporter.
The DOJ statement says that the FBI and NYPD worked together to foil the plot before it came to fruition. An RCMP statement also states that the case was a collaboration between the RCMP and the FBI.
“Abdulrahman El-Bahnasawy is a Canadian citizen who was part of an international plot to commit terrorist attacks in the United States and the charges are a direct result of his involvement and role. At no time was the safety or security of the public at risk,” read the RCMP statement.
Global News also reached out to Global Affairs, which confirmed that Canadian officials are providing council to the “Canadian citizen” detained in the U.S.
“Canadian Officials are providing consular assistance to a Canadian citizen detained in New York City, United States. Due to the conditions of the Privacy Act, further information on this case cannot be disclosed,” read the statement.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale declined to be interviewed but said in a statement “the Government of Canada monitors all potential threats and has robust measures in place to address them.”
“Canada’s security and law enforcement agencies work closely with allies and key partners,” said Scott Bardsley, a spokesperson Minister Goodale. “When the security and intelligence community receives credible warnings about a specific threat, they work with the appropriate partners to appropriately respond to the threat.”