NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man plotted to use guns, grenades and suicide vests to bring bloodshed to Times Square, federal prosecutors said Friday.
Ashiqul Alam, 22, of Queens, revealed his plan to an undercover agent over the course of a few months, according to court documents. Alam had arranged to buy guns from the agent and went with him on a reconnaissance trip to the crowded Manhattan tourist district in January, the documents said.
Alam “repeatedly expressed interest in purchasing firearms and explosives for a terrorist attack in the New York City area,” during conversations with the undercover agent dating to last August, the court documents said.
The documents stated that Alam used his cellphone to take video of Times Square and “explained to the undercover agent that he was looking for potential targets.”
Alam was arrested Thursday after he attempted to buy a pair of 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistols whose serial numbers had been obliterated. He is awaiting arraignment on weapons-related changes while being held at a federal detention center in Brooklyn.
It was not immediately known if Alam had a lawyer to comment on his behalf.
Police always have a heavy presence in Times Square due to past incidents. The sidewalks and plazas along Times Square are partially protected with steel posts intended to stop speeding vehicles.