2 ISIS-inspired women arrested for bomb plot in NYC - report
Federal agents in the United States have arrested two women who allegedly planned to detonate a bomb in New York City after becoming radicalized by the self-styled Islamic State.
The two women — identified as US citizens Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, by the New York Times— were arrested early Thursday in New York, according to multiple reports, as part of a lengthy undercover operation waged by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
A New York Police Department official confirmed to CBS News shortly after that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force made the arrests with the help of the NYPD, and a FBI spokesperson told BuzzFeed that the two women were arrested on charges of terrorism.
Mike Levine, the ABC News journalist who broke the story, reported that a federal probe led authorities to believe the two Queens, NY women were radicalized by propaganda put out by the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The Times reported that a complaint unsealed on Thursday suggests the women had been communicating with people affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
According to ABC News, the two women allegedly wanted to build an improvised explosive device, but Levine reported that the public was never in danger during the course of the FBI’s investigation.
Siddiqui “is currently in possession of multiple propane gas tanks, as well as instructions for how to transform propane tanks into explosive devices,” the complaint unsealed this week reads, according to the Times.
Last week, the FBI announced that two men had been arrested in Illinois and charged with conspiring to attack the US from overseas on behalf of ISIS. One of the men, a current member of the Illinois National Guard, was arrested last Wednesday at Chicago’s Midway International Airport while attempting to board a flight destined to Cairo. There, authorities say, he hoped to travel to Syria and join up with the extremist group.
The two women are expected in federal court in Brooklyn later on Thursday, Levine reported. DNAInfo reported that Velentzas and Siddiqui were roommates prior to their arrest.