TERROR PLOT FOILED: Mississauga Man Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy Pleads Guilty To Plotting Islamic State Attack In New York City

In a disturbing sign of the continued threat from Islamist terrorism, 19-year-old Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy of Mississauga has pled guilty to terrorism charges after a plot to set off bombs and shoot civilians in New York City was foiled.

Concerningly, El Bahnasawy has Canadian citizenship.

Here’s part of what the U.S. department of Justice said about the foiled attack in a statement:

“The defendants are: ABDULRAHMAN EL BAHNASAWY, a 19-year-old Canadian citizen; TALHA HAROON, a 19-year-old U.S. citizen residing in Pakistan; and RUSSELL SALIC, a 37-year-old Philippine citizen.  Communicating through Internet messaging applications, these three men allegedly plotted to conduct bombings and shootings in heavily populated areas of New York City during the Islamic holy month of Ramadhan in 2016, all in the name of ISIS (the “NYC Attacks”). 

EL BAHNASAWY purchased bomb-making materials and helped secure a cabin within driving distance of New York City to use for building the explosive devices and staging the NYC Attacks.  HAROON allegedly made plans to travel from Pakistan to New York City to join EL BAHNASAWY in carrying out the attacks, and traveled within Pakistan to meet with explosives experts in furtherance of the plot.  And as EL BAHNASAWY and HAROON prepared to execute the NYC Attacks, SALIC allegedly wired money from the Philippines to the United States to help fund the terrorist operation.

  • The planned attacks included detonating bombs in Times Square and the New York City subway system, and shooting civilians at specific concert venues.
  • Law enforcement – the FBI and the NYPD – successfully thwarted this terrorist plot.  An undercover FBI agent (the “UC”) convinced the defendants that the UC was an ISIS supporter prepared to carry out the attacks with them.
  • EL BAHNASAWY, who has been in custody since he was arrested by the FBI in May 2016, pled guilty to terrorism offenses and is awaiting sentencing.
  • HAROON and SALIC have been arrested in foreign countries by foreign authorities in connection with these charges and it is the hope and expectation of this Office and U.S. law enforcement that they will be extradited to the United States to face justice in a United States court.

On May 21, 2016, EL BAHNASAWY was arrested in New Jersey, after traveling to the United States from Canada in preparation for carrying out the NYC Attacks.”

What’s going on in Mississauga?

As I reported in July, a disturbing pro-Palestinian rally in Mississauga featured anti-Semitic chants. A clip of that disturbing protest is below:

While participating in a rally isn’t the same as plotting an attack, it is very disturbing to see such hateful rhetoric in a Canadian city, and it’s disturbing that this rally, and a terrorist plotter were both in Mississauga.

What’s happening in that city?

The threat of Islamist terrorism remains

It’s very concerning that someone with Canadian citizenship was involved in a horrific plot against our closest ally, and it shows the continued dangers of Islamist terrorism in our country, and around the world. Yet, rather than get tough, our government has become even weaker, now letting dual citizens convicted of terrorist offences keep their Canadian citizenship, apparently because “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian.”

Of course, we know that phrase is nothing more than empty political rhetoric. Unfortunately, our politicians would rather be politically correct than acknowledge that radical Islamist terrorism is a threat. Even after the Edmonton attack, Justin Trudeau refused to mention the ISIS flag found at the scene, and didn’t even utter the phrase “radical Islamist terrorism.” Instead, he said “diversity is our strength,” and tried changing the subject. With “leadership” like that, the threat will only continue to grow.

Spencer Fernando