Pakistani, US national arrested in New York bomb plot
NEW YORK: A Pakistani national and a US citizen were arrested over an alleged plot to blow up a subway station in New York, city police commissioner Raymond Kelly said on Saturday.
“It is clear they had the intention to cause damage and kill people,” Kelly said. “Their motive was generally hatred for America.”
But he said there was no immediate evidence that they were connected to Al Qaeda or any international terror groups.
One of several sites they had been surveying was the Herald Square subway station next door to the auditorium, Madison Square Garden, where the Republicans are to hold their four-day national convention beginning Monday.
But there was nothing to suggest they had been especially focussed on the convention, the commissioner said.
The Pakistani, named as 21-year-old Shahawar Matin Siraj, worked in an Islamic bookstore in New York, a police official said on condition of anonymity. The American was named as 19-year-old James Alshafay.
The pair were arrested Friday after what Kelly said had been a year-long investigation in which the two men were recorded discussing plans for an attack.
They had carried out surveillance on several locations in the city, including three police stations, a city jail and the Verrazano bridge.
The pair had also been considering the 34th Street subway station at Herald Square, and visited the site to carry out surveillance August 21. But Kelly said they had no explosives in their possession. They were arrested on information from a confidential police informant, Kelly said. A third person was not charged, he said. afp