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Feds: We Foiled Attack on Times Square

Authorities say Ashiqul Alam bought weapons from undercover agent
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 7, 2019 1:40 PM CDT
This Feb. 27, 2014 file photo shows New York City taxis passing through New York's Times Square.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – A New York City man plotted to use guns, grenades, and suicide vests to bring bloodshed to Times Square, federal prosecutors said Friday, per the AP. Ashiqul Alam was arrested Thursday after arranging through an undercover agent to buy a pair of pistols whose serial numbers had been obliterated, prosecutors said. Alam also discussed buying a silencer, ammunition, and hand grenades, which he said could each "take out at least eight people," prosecutors said. Alam, 22, of Queens, was expected to be arraigned Friday on weapons-related offenses, but court documents filed in connection with the case describe months of plotting for a terrorist attack aimed at killing civilians and law enforcement officers in Times Square.

Alam started speaking with the undercover agent about his plans last August and went with him on a reconnaissance trip to the bustling Manhattan tourist district in January, the documents said. Alam "repeatedly expressed interest in purchasing firearms and explosives for a terrorist attack in the New York City area" and spoke about terrorist organizations including ISIS during conversations with the undercover agent, the court documents said. Alam used his cellphone to take video of Times Square and "explained to the undercover that he was looking for potential targets," according to the documents. Alam's lawyer, James Darrow, declined comment.

(Read more Times Square stories.)

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