A US citizen of Pakistani origin was planning to carry out Paris-style attacks on “heavily populated areas” in New York City, revealed a report shared by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with Pakistani authorities.
The FBI report, handed over to the interior ministry for extradition of the 18-year-old suspect Talha Haroon, says that he, along with his co-conspirator and an undercover FBI agent, “plotted to carry out deadly bombings in heavily populated areas of New York City in the name of the [IS]”.
The report claimed that Haroon was stationed in Pakistan in April of last year and planned attacks on the New York Subway, Times Square and a concert.
The report also claimed that Mr Haroon had been associated with the Taliban in the past and had later switched his allegiance to IS.
The report claimed that Mr Haroon wanted to carry out an attack in NYC around June 2016. It said that the suspects “identified multiple potential targets of their plot to launch terrorist attacks in New York City”. One target was the New York subway, Times Square was another. The report claimed that the suspects “discussed plans to detonate a car bomb in Times Square”.
The FBI report quoted a communication between the co-conspirator and Mr Haroon from May 12, 2016: “We just walk in with guns in our hands. That’s how the Paris guys did it. You just walk in and shoot anyone who says anything.”
According to the report, on or about Sept 22, 2016, the FBI was advised that Mr Haroon had recently been taken into custody in Pakistan. On Sept 27, Mr Haroon was charged in a criminal complaint before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The complaint charged Mr Haroon on five counts of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring to commit act of terrorism, conspiring to bomb a place of public use and public transportation, conspiring to provide material support or resources to terrorists and conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation.
Each of the five charges count as a separate offence and each charged offence is punishable under US law with more than one year of imprisonment.
But even though the Islamabad district administration completed the process of Mr Haroon’s extradition at the request of US authorities, the Islamabad High Court stayed the extradition on March 27, 2017 with a direction to the federal government to respond to a petition filed by Mr Haroon’s father.
The petitioner had claimed that since Mr Haroon did not commit any offence in the US, the American government could not seek his custody.
A Pakistani court has temporarily barred the extradition of a US citizen of Pakistani origin who is accused of planning a terrorist attack in New York, a lawyer said Wednesday.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court suspended the extradition order against Talha Haroon, 19, who is currently jailed in Rawalpindi pending his repatriation.
Lawyer Tariq Asad, who petitioned the Islamabad High Court against the order, said he had won a stay.
Siddiqui also summoned officials from the interior ministry for the next court hearing on April 11, according to an order seen by AFP.
“The allegation was that he was planning an armed operation against a public place in New York with IS,” Asad said, referring to the Islamic State group.
He said Haroon had returned from the US to Pakistan more than a year ago.
In his application to the court, Haroon’s father Haroon Rashid had written: “The story against the petitioner’s son is entirely concocted and false. He is a young teenaged student and in case of extradition he may lose his life and career.”
He added his son was a victim of “biased and prejudiced policy against the Muslims” by US President Donald Trump.
Pakistan has a bilateral extradition treaty with the US that was signed before the South Asian country gained independence from Britain in 1947.
It has previously surrendered high-profile fugitives including Mir Qazi, convicted of the 1993 shootings at the CIA headquarters in Langley, and Ramzi Yousef, convicted for his part in the World Trade Center truck bombing the same year.
Pakistan is the epicenter of jihad. Travel to and immigration from should be banned.