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Times Square Terror Plot Thwarted

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Times Square (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Lance Cheung)
Times Square (Photo: U.S. Air Force/Lance Cheung)

A Times Square terror attack was thwarted after a Queens man was taken into custody.

Ashiqul Alam, 22, of Jackson Heights, a Bangladeshi citizen as well as a permanent resident of the U.S., was arrested by federal and local officials for trying to buy guns and grenades to carry out a terror attack.

Alam appeared on law enforcement’s radar when he sought guidance online on how to purchase two Glock 9mm pistols. He made contact with an undercover officer who told him that he could provide him with weapons that had their serial numbers erased.

“Oh, that’s good, man,” he replied.

Law enforcement officials tracked Alam between August 2018 and his arrest, during which time Alam made plans to carry out an attack – either in Times Square or in Washington, D.C., where he said he wanted to kill a high-level government official.

He not only tried to purchase firearms and explosives, he even underwent Lasik eye surgery because he was worried about his glasses falling off while carrying out the attack.

“Let’s say we are in an attack, right?” he said to the undercover agent. “Say that my glasses fall off. What if I accidentally shoot you? You know what I mean. Imagine what the news channel would call me — the ‘Looney Tunes Terrorist.’”

Alam met with people who he believed would be selling him the firearms and discussed purchasing grenades as well since he said they could “take out at least eight people.”

In January, he traveled to Times Square and made videos scoping out potential locations for the attack. According to authorities, he debated several different ways to carry out the attack, including using an AR-15 assault rifle to kill police as well as blowing himself up with a suicide vest.

When asked by an undercover officer what would make him happy, he replied “seeing the flag of Islam on the Twin Towers or the Empire State Building.”

Alam is not believed to be linked to any other group or part of a larger plot, yet he expressed his admiration for ISIS and Al Qaeda as well as Osama Bin Laden.

 

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