Two ISIS lone wolves planed to use a truck loaded explosives as a weapons of mass destruction in New York, the type of which Shoebat.com forewarned about last year:
“Shoebat.com has been reviewing some of ISIS’s abilities in converting trucks into an explosive bomb that would release tremendous destruction …” (see report last year)
Prosecutors said that two women “researched and acquired” components for a car bomb such as the one used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a fertilizer bomb like the one used in the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, and a pressure cooker device such as the one used in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
The women possessed propane gas tanks along with instructions from an online jihadist publication making explosive devices out of those tanks, the complaint said.
Noelle Velentzas, 28, could not understand why U.S. citizens like her were traveling overseas to wage jihad when they could simply stay and “make history” by unleashing terrorist attacks on American soil, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.
Velentzas and her former roommate Asia Siddiqui, 31, also a U.S. citizen, were arrested and accused of planning to build an explosive device for attacks in the United States, federal prosecutors said.
The complaint paints a picture of a disturbing trend in homegrown ISIS lone wolves.
In the past 18 months, the Justice Department’s National Security Division has prosecuted or is prosecuting more than 30 cases of people attempting to travel abroad to join or provide support to terrorist groups. Of those cases, 18 allegedly involve support to ISIS.
Velentzas and Siddiqui repeatedly expressed support for violent jihad to an undercover agent, the complaint said.
“As alleged, the defendants in this case carefully studied how to construct an explosive device to launch an attack on the homeland,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.
“We remain firm in our resolve to hold accountable anyone who would seek to terrorize the American people, whether by traveling abroad to commit attacks overseas or by plotting here at home.”
In 2009, Siddiqui wrote a poem in a magazine published by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula that urged readers to wage jihad. In it, she declared there is no “excuse to sit back and wait — for the skies rain martyrdom.”
The defendants also said they considered themselves “citizens of Islamic State,” referring to ISIS.
US intelligence officials warned in February that more than 20,000 volunteers from around the world, including more than 150 Americans, had gone to Syria to link up with extremists.