Feds charge man with plot to set off bomb, Pamela Geller's home address made public
Authorities in New York apparently foiled an ISIS-inspired attack in the city, but in a separate case, a high-profile resident of Manhattan is speaking out about an Islamic State sympathizer publicizing her home address.
Federal law enforcement authorities have accused a New York City college student of plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb in the city in support of the Islamic State group, according to Reuters.
Court documents made public on Tuesday said that Munther Omar Saleh, 20, a resident of the New York borough of Queens, spent hours online researching how to build a pressure cooker bomb and reading accounts of the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Saleh was arrested early on Saturday after he and another man got out of their car and ran toward a surveillance vehicle that had been tracking their movements, according to the court documents. The other man, who was also arrested, was not named in the documents.
On Wednesday, a joint terrorism task force made up of FBI agents and New York police arrested another man who allegedly tried to attack agents with a knife as they attempted to search his home in an ongoing ISIS-related investigation, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told NBC 4 New York.
The arrests are just the most recent example of ISIS’s global strategy, which has resulted in attacks or arrests in more than a dozen countries, the New York Times wrote.
Reuters reported that authorities say they are pursuing so-called “lone wolf” plotters inspired by ISIS in all 50 states.
Some apparently don’t hide their sympathies too much. The court claimed that Saleh expressed support for the Islamic State and at one point posted on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Al Qaeda, "I fear AQ could be getting too moderate."
But aside from his constitutionally-protected right to free speech, he reportedly also displayed suspicious activity. A police officer observed him on successive days in March on foot at the George Washington Bridge (pictured), seemingly looking around, the court papers said.
The behavior prompted officers to interview Saleh, who denied sympathizing with Islamic State and granted them permission to examine his computer, authorities said. Investigators found the computer contained Islamic State propaganda, according to court filings.
In a detail reminiscent of the 9/11 hijackers, Saleh is studying at a college that specializes in aeronautics, the court papers said.
Meanwhile, the home address of blogger Pamela Geller was tweeted by ISIS terrorists just days after Boston police killed a knife-wielding jihadist who threatened to behead her, according to Fox News.
Geller told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren that she is being targeted for blaspheming Islam. She organized a "Draw Muhammad contest in Garland, Texas, earlier this year, and while many of the entries in the contest mocked the founder of Islam, the religion considers it blasphemous to make any depictions of him. Geller believes jihadists want to make an example of her so others will submit to Islamic proscriptions.
The Daily Mail in the UK said that Geller’s home address was posted on a Twitter account linked to British-born Islamic State fighter Abu Hussain al-Britani. Twitter suspended the account on Friday shortly after the post threatening Geller appeared.
"I’ve made additional security arrangements, of course. But I will not be intimidated into silence," Geller stated. She said the debate over Islam’s "blasphemy laws" is about standing up for "freedom and the First Amendment."
"I have no intention of backing down. I will not be intimidated into silence," Geller said. "I don’t want to die, but I don’t want to live as a slave."