A 20-year-old New York City college student has been arrested for plotting a pressure cooker bombing attack in the city to support Islamic State (ISIS), as revealed in Brooklyn court documents published on Tuesday.
The student, Munther Omar Saleh, was arrested along with another man on Saturday morning when they got out of their car and charged at a surveillance vehicle that had been following them, reports Reuters.
Saleh, who hails from Queens, invested hours researching online how to build a lethal pressure cooker bomb stuffed with nails and other shrapnel according to federal agents.
He also read accounts from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, in which an attack with two pressure cookers at the finish line murdered three and wounded over 260 others.
The student vocally supported ISIS online, and in one Twitter post said of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization “I fear AQ could be getting too moderate.” He likewise praised terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS, as well as the lethal January attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in Paris.
Saleh evidently began his attempts to translate his online terrorism craze into real world action back in March, when a police officer saw him on successive days walking about the George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York just looking around, apparently planning an attack.
Officers interviewed Saleh following his suspicious behavior, and he denied sympathizing with ISIS while allowing them to examine his computer.
On the computer, investigators found ISIS propaganda according to the court papers.
Saleh is enrolled at a college which specializes in aeronautics.