attack in New York City in the name of the Islamic State militant group
(ISIS) has warned that his country is a “breeding ground for
The Justice Department said that 37-year-old Russell
Salic, who was arrested in the Philippines in April, suggested that
other Filipino jihadis were plotting to attack the West, including major
“Terrorists from all over the world usually come
here as a breeding ground for terrorists… hahahaha… But no worry
here in Philippines. They dont care bout IS… Only in west,” he said in
a message to others implicated the plot, according to a statement.
authorities charged Salic, from the southern Philippine province of
Mindanao, with involvement and the funding of a plan in which two other
jihadis wanted to carry out the “next 9/11” during Ramadan. The
targets included concert venues, the New York’s subway and Times Square.
undercover FBI agent foiled the plot after getting into contact with
the three men. One of them, 19-year-old Abdulrahman El Bahnasaway, had
traveled from Canada to New Jersey before authorities arrested him in
In exchanges, the jihadi sent an FBI agent a picture of
Times Square alongside text that read: “We seriously need to car bomb
times square. Look at these crowds of people!”
El Bahnasaway also said that he wished to “shoot up concerts cuz they kill a lot of people.”
Philippine Marines soldiers in a cleared street but still in range of
enemy sniper fire as they walk towards the main battle area on July 22,
2017 in Marawi, southern Philippines. Jes Aznar/Getty
sent around $423 to fund preparations for the attack and said that he
would send more, the department said, adding that he bragged that he
could do so without detection.
The plot appeared to draw
inspiration from the Paris attacks in November 2015, when an ISIS cell
of Belgian and French jihadis targeted a concert hall, restaurants, bars
and France’s national football stadium with guns and suicide bombings
in what remains the deadliest ISIS attack on European soil.
threat posed by ISIS fighters and pro-ISIS jihadis to Western security
services has increased because of the ability to seemingly direct or
inspire attacks from outside of their jurisdictions.
Filipino jihadis have been waging an offensive against the country’s
army in the southern city of Marawi, and hundreds of radical Islamists
are still believed to be fighting Philippine forces in the city. The
conflict has cost the lives of almost 1,000 people.
three Muslim-majority provinces in the southern Philippines where a
Muslim insurgency is raging, led by the Abu Sayyaf and Maute militant
groups, both of which have pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Evidence has surfaced
indicating that the jihadis besieging the city are in touch with
ISIS central command in Syria, which has been funneling funds to
Southeast Asian militants to help the offensive.
threatens to attack the U.S. or call for its supporters to launch
attacks there. New York City was the site of the deadliest terror attack
in U.S. history, the 9/11 hijackings in 2001, that left almost 3,000
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is waging a
war against both drug gangs and jihadists in the country, has been at
odds with the U.S. over its criticism of his policies. But Duterte has
softened his position since the inauguration of President Donald Trump
and has welcomed Washington’s assistance in the fight against pro-ISIS
jihadis. Trump invited Duterte to visit the White House in the fall
during a May phone call.