Federal and New York City officials announced that two local residents have pled guilty to terrorism charges involving “plotting attacks against New York City in the name of ISIL.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement on Friday that Munther Omar Saleh, 21, of Queens, and Fareed Mumuni, 22, of Staten Island, were charged with “conspiring and attempting to provide material support” to ISIS, also known as ISIL, and with assaulting and conspiring to assault federal agents.
A news release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice states that the two men “engaged in plotting attacks against New York City in the name of ISIL.” They allegedly received instructions from ISIL leaders based in Syria to commit acts of violence. Their terroristic plans included detonating a pressure-cooker bomb in the city, similar to the one used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord said in the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement:
“Munther Omar Saleh and Fareed Mumuni conspired to provide material support to ISIL and devised a plan to conduct an attack in New York. During his arrest, Mumuni stabbed an FBI agent numerous times, but thankfully the agent’s body armor protected him from the defendant’s attack and the defendant was safely apprehended by law enforcement.” She added, “Counterterrorism is the National Security Division’s highest priority. We will continue to seek justice against any individuals who conspire to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations, and those who attempt to harm the brave law enforcement officials who risk their lives to protect us.”
In addition, Mumuni was charged with “attempted murder of federal officers” for repeatedly stabbing an FBI agent with a large kitchen knife as law enforcement officials carried out a search warrant at his home nearly two years ago.
Later, police recovered a second, large knife wrapped in a T-shirt from Mumuni’s vehicle, which he planned to use in any confrontations with law enforcement officers, says one report.
William F. Sweeney, Jr., assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York field office, gave this statement:
“Today’s guilty pleas show just how close the threat of homegrown terrorism exists for New York City. From their respective homes in Queens and Staten Island, Saleh and Mumuni conspired to place a pressure cooker bomb in the New York metro area on behalf of ISIL. Mumuni even attacked an FBI agent when a court-authorized search was being conducted by the Joint Terrorism Task Force at his home in Staten Island. Threats like this are exactly why protecting the United States from a terrorist attack remains the FBI’s number one priority”
Reportedly, Mumuni’s immigration status is unclear, but he will likely be sentenced to up to 85 years in prison. However, Saleh has been declared a U.S. citizen and faces up to 53 years in prison.
Both men are scheduled to appear in court on May 16 for a hearing.
H/T: PIX 11
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