A 37-year-old Filipino doctor provided funds to support a 2016 foiled plot to carry out bombings and shootings in crowded areas, including concert venues, in New York City, U.S. authorities said Friday.
Russell Salic, who was arrested in April 2017 in the Philippines, is awaiting extradition to the United States as federal authorities unsealed the charges against him and two men for allegedly plotting to attack targets in New York, including its subway system.
Authorities said the thwarted attacks were to be carried out by the suspects under the name of the Islamic State during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan last year.
The plot was foiled when an undercover FBI agent posed as an IS supporter and communicated with the three suspects through electronic messaging apps accessible on cellphones, according to a statement issued by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.
Salic (alias Abu Khalid) wired about $500 to the undercover agent in the United States to help fund the terror plot, the statement said. It said the Filipino doctor, who allegedly maintained an active pro-militant social media presence, also conveyed that he had previously sent money to other countries in support of IS.
“For example, on May 9, 2016, Salic informed the [FBI undercover agent] that he was ‘desperate’ to travel to Syria to join ISIS,” the statement said, using another acronym for IS.
Salic, an orthopedic surgeon, also expressed his belief that he could safely send money to support the attacks from the Philippines, where he claimed to be at the time, without attracting law-enforcement scrutiny, the statement also said.
He allegedly told the agent that “it would be a great pleasure if we can slaughter” people in New York, adding that he would be “praying to Allah for the success of the operation when the planned attacks were imminent.”
Salic faces multiple charges, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, which carry penalties of life imprisonment.
Full story: BenarNews
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