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Two NY women, were arrested and charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction in the US, according to federal prosecutors.
FBI officials say both women, who live in Queens NY, were radicalized by Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda. The charges brought against the two last Thursday, claim the women had been communicating with people affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. According to CNN News, the pair told an undercover agent they wanted to detonate a pressure cooker or a propane tank bomb somewhere in New York City
Prosecutors said the women had “researched and acquired” components for a car bomb similar to the one used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as well as components to build a fertilizer bomb like the one used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
The New York Post reports that one of these women was a friend of the late Samir Khan, a former resident of Queens who published an online magazine for al-Qaeda prior to being killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, in 2011.
According to HomeLand Security News Wire officials have not released the actual target location, but police reports made it clear that the public was never in any danger at any point throughout the investigation. NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said the arrests were made as part of an ongoing local and federal investigation.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch, said the women studied how to carry out what could have been a deadly attack. “We are committed to doing everything in our ability to detect, disrupt and deter attacks by homegrown violent extremists,” Lynch said. “As alleged, the defendants in this case carefully studied how to construct an explosive device to launch an attack on the homeland.” The women, who considered themselves “citizens of Islamic State” appeared on Thursday afternoon in a federal court in Brooklyn.