New York college student Munther Omar Saleh was charged this week with conspiring to support a foreign terrorist organization, ISIS, after a months-long investigation by federal agents.
Saleh, 20, an American engineering student from Queens, is accused of plotting to detonate an explosive device — specifically a pressure-cooker bomb like that used in the Boston Marathon attack — in New York City on behalf of the Islamic State.
He was arrested on Saturday after he and another person ran toward a surveillance vehicle that had been following them, NBC News reported
. The other man had a Smith & Wesson folding tactical knife when he was arrested.
The FBI started paying close attention to Saleh, who sometimes goes by "Abu Omar al-Ramli," in late March, after he was spotted walking around the George Washington Bridge. He was questioned at the time, but denied having any sympathy or support for the Islamic State.
Since September, Saleh allegedly posted messages to Twitter praising the Islamic State's "high end videos, great weaponry and quality fighters," as well as its immolation of a Jordanian pilot and the beheading of a Japanese journalist.
He also praised Islamist terror attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris, and a Draw Muhammad contest in Garland, Texas.
He wrote that Al-Qaeda was "getting too moderate," in another post.
The FBI complaint, filed in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, says that Saleh was also "translating ISIL propaganda into English."
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