Three men, including an American and a Canadian, plotted ISIS-inspired terror attacks against New York City landmarks, concert venues and the city's subway system last summer, according to federal prosecutors.
Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen who lived in Pakistan and 37-year-old Russell Salic who is a citizen of the Philippines were also facing charges.
Salic was the money man and sent funds from the Philippines and Haroon met with explosives experts in Pakistan and planned to join El Bahnasawy in the USA to carry out the attacks. El Bahnasawy already pleaded guilty to seven charges.
Both men have been arrested overseas and their extradition to the U.S.is expected.
The US Department of Justice has revealed the men planned to kill and injure as many people as possible in attacks they planned to carry out in June and July 2016. "That's how the Paris guys did it", el Bahnasawy allegedly said before he was arrested, referencing the November 2015 attacks in Paris, which included an attack at a concert at the Bataclan Theater. He ultimately sent $423 to the undercover agent, authorities said.
He said he would send more money to support IS terror attacks, telling the undercover agent, "In Sha Allah once we have the blessings again we will distribute again".
According to court documents, El Bahnasawy and Haroon identified "multiple locations and events in and around New York City as targets", including subway, Times Square, and select venues.
"When we come up short on slugs we let the vests go off", he said on May 5, 2016.
That same month, El Bahnasawy informed the agent that he had been in communication with the Philippines man, known to him as "Abu Khalid" and "the doctor" about acquiring more funding for the attacks.
"I think the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the police department are doing a good job", said one.
Haroon stated that he meant to fly from Pakistan to New York City to carry out the attacks with El Bahnasawy, and hoped to "cause great destruction to the filthy "kuffars" (infidels) by our hands". Five workers who survived the incident filed the charges against Salic. Prosecutors said that Al Bahnasawy likewise spoke with a covert operator acting like an ISIS sympathizer about needing to "shoot up shows cuz they murder bunches of individuals".
Haroon, who had also messaged the undercover officer "New York must fall" was arrested in Pakistan in September 2016 and Salic was arrested in the Philippines in April 2017.
The release said the three used internet communications to plot their attacks, which El Bahnasawy described as "the next 9/11", telling an undercover agent he hoped to stage a gun attack at a concert. All told, the charges could carry three life sentences and up to 70 years in prison.