The U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District of New York said in a news release that it had charged Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen; Talha Haroon, a 19-year-old Pakistani; and Russell Salic, a 37-year-old Philippine citizen, with plotting to conduct bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City.
The three were charged last year with plotting to make the attack in the summer of 2016. All three have been arrested. El Bahnasawy has already pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing in December.
Court documents said Haroon and Salic were arrested in foreign countries and had not yet been extradited to the U.S.
The release said the three used internet communications to plot their attacks, which El Bahnasawy described as 'the next 9/11,' telling an undercover agent he hoped to stage a gun attack at a concert.
Court documents quoted El Bahnasawy as saying, 'We just walk in with guns in our hands. That's how the Paris guys did it,' referring to the 2015 attacks on a rock concert in Paris, France. The DOJ news release alleged the suspects also plotted attacks on the New York subway system and a car bomb for Times Square, an area heavily frequented by tourists.
El Bahnasawy was arrested in May 2016, Haroon in September 2016 and Salic in April of this year, according to court documents.
Earlier Friday, the FBI had warned law enforcement offices in New York City of a 'noncredible' threat to the city, but the FBI said this announcement was not related to that threat.